This Divided Land

The home is the primary way Americans build wealth, but laws and systems have kept people of color- especially Black Americans- from accessing homeownership. Nationally and here in Ashevillewhite homeownership rates are significantly higher than people of color, and the racial wealth gap is just as wide today as it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was passed. After discovering a racial covenant in a deed of a South Asheville property Asheville Habitat developed for affordable housing, Habitat decided to delve deeper and learn more about the history of discriminatory housing practices, how they shaped our city, and how practices like these contributed to current day racial disparities.  

Take action 

Support the partners involved in this film. 

Support other local groups doing work to dismantle systemic racism. There are many more local nonprofitsorganizations, and coalitions not mentioned in this film doing amazing work in the fields of social and racial justice. Consult the WNC Social Justice Advocacy Guide to connect with these groups to volunteer, provide mutual aid, and support financially. 

Support NC Senate Bill 427 filed by Sen. Julie Mayfield. If passed, this legislation would allow individuals to remove racial covenants from their deeds. This bill is currently before the Rules and Regulations Committee. 

Learn more about the history of your property and look up local property records with the Register of Deeds.

Learn about the history of other historically Black neighborhoods in Asheville like Stumptown and East End/Valley Street.

Learn more about racial covenants in Durham, North Carolina. Hacking into History is a collaborative project DataWorks NC, The School of Library and Information Sciences Library at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and the Durham County Register of Deeds.