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Real Estate, Racial Change, and Bloomfield Schools from 1960 to the Present Aleesha Young ‘07 Kelli Perkins ‘05 Cities, Suburbs, Schools research project.

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Presentation on theme: "Real Estate, Racial Change, and Bloomfield Schools from 1960 to the Present Aleesha Young ‘07 Kelli Perkins ‘05 Cities, Suburbs, Schools research project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Real Estate, Racial Change, and Bloomfield Schools from 1960 to the Present Aleesha Young ‘07 Kelli Perkins ‘05 Cities, Suburbs, Schools research project Trinity College July 11, 2005

2 Educ 308: Cities, Suburbs, and Schools seminar in Spring 2005

3 Upper-level undergraduate course Upper-level undergraduate course Students develop research question Students develop research question Examined demographic changes in Bloomfield during the 1960’s and 70’s and the impact that real estate markets had on racial shifts of the town Examined demographic changes in Bloomfield during the 1960’s and 70’s and the impact that real estate markets had on racial shifts of the town

4

5 Metro Hartford Black Population 1960 to 2000

6 1960

7 Metro Hartford Black Population 1960 to

8 Metro Hartford Black Population 1960 to

9 Metro Hartford Black Population 1960 to

10 Metro Hartford Black Population 1960 to

11 Bloomfield Black Population 1960 to 2000

12 1960

13 Bloomfield Black Population 1960 to

14 Bloomfield Black Population 1960 to

15 Bloomfield Black Population 1960 to

16 Bloomfield Black Population 1960 to

17 Research Questions How have real estate markets affected racial transformation in Bloomfield since the 1960’s? How have real estate markets affected racial transformation in Bloomfield since the 1960’s?

18 Research Questions How have real estate markets affected racial transformation in Bloomfield since the 1960’s? How have real estate markets affected racial transformation in Bloomfield since the 1960’s? What relationship do these changes have to its public schools? What relationship do these changes have to its public schools?

19 Block-busting and Racial Steering

20 Realtors persuade white residents to sell homes by instilling fear of the increasing black population in their neighborhood

21 Block-busting and Racial Steering Realtors persuade white residents to sell homes by instilling fear of the increasing black population in their neighborhood Realtors persuade white homebuyers to buy homes away from mixed neighborhoods, instead encourage to move into predominantly white areas

22 Discusses history of Bloomfield, but only brief description of racial change

23 Describes racial change in Bloomfield, but only briefly mentions block-busting and little on schools

24 Story of racial change, but not schools

25 Story of racial change in neighborhoods and schools, but focuses on city, not suburb

26 Sources and Methods Part 1: Archival Documents Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Part 3: Street-level Data Analysis

27 Part 1: Archival Documents

28 Real Estate controversies in the news Real Estate controversies in the news Residents of Alexander Road charge that realtors have caused racial turnover from 1969 to 1974

29 Part 1: Archival Documents Real Estate controversies in the news Real Estate controversies in the news Bloomfield Human Relations Commission files complaint against realtors to cease block- busting

30 Part 1: Archival Documents Real Estate controversies in the news Real Estate controversies in the news Bloomfield Human Relations Commission files complaint against realtors to cease block- busting

31 Part 1: Archival Documents Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes

32 Part 1: Archival Documents Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes Typical excerpt from 1973 public hearing Mr. Robert Shumsky, 13 Old Village Road in Bloomfield “…the majority of the people that were brought to our house were black. We didn’t mind selling at all to white, black, gray, or whatever. We did sell to a white family; and I think our neighbors were relieved, they were all set to say to us ‘please don’t sell to blacks’ We didn’t care; whoever can afford to live in this neighborhood, they’re entitled to live here...”

33 Part 1: Archival Documents Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes Real Estate controversies in Town Council minutes Typical excerpt from 1973 public hearing Mr. Robert Shumsky, 13 Old Village Road in Bloomfield “…the majority of the people that were brought to our house were black. We didn’t mind selling at all to white, black, gray, or whatever. We did sell to a white family; and I think our neighbors were relieved, they were all set to say to us ‘please don’t sell to blacks’ We didn’t care; whoever can afford to live in this neighborhood, they’re entitled to live here...” Dozens of accounts like this help to reconstruct racial change as it occurred in various neighborhoods in Bloomfield

34 Part 1: Archival Documents Racial Change concerns in Board of Education Minutes Racial Change concerns in Board of Education Minutes Typical except from 1969 public hearing 9 Sept 1969 It was brought out of the Blue Hills School is presently 51% non-white. The board requested the Citizens Commitee to intensify the program to get more children to bus out of the Blue Hills School. Dr. Chester was asked to get a report on classroom space available in the other elementary schools and to compare census figures for the system with the previous racial census. Typical excerpt from 1969 meeting It was mentioned that the Blue Hills School is presently 51% non-white. The board requested the Citizens Committee to intensify the program to get more children to bus out of the Blue Hills School. Dr. Chester was asked to get a report on classroom space available in the other elementary schools and to compare census figures for the system with the previous racial census.

35 Part 1: Archival Documents Racial Change concerns in Board of Education Minutes Racial Change concerns in Board of Education Minutes Although the white and non-white population of Blue Hills School was nearly equal, school officials recognized this as a racial imbalance and saw voluntary busing as a solution to this “problem” Typical except from 1969 public hearing 9 Sept 1969 It was brought out of the Blue Hills School is presently 51% non-white. The board requested the Citizens Commitee to intensify the program to get more children to bus out of the Blue Hills School. Dr. Chester was asked to get a report on classroom space available in the other elementary schools and to compare census figures for the system with the previous racial census. Typical excerpt from 1969 meeting It was mentioned that the Blue Hills School is presently 51% non-white. The board requested the Citizens Committee to intensify the program to get more children to bus out of the Blue Hills School. Dr. Chester was asked to get a report on classroom space available in the other elementary schools and to compare census figures for the system with the previous racial census.

36 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing

37 Interview Candidates Key Historical Actors Key Historical Actors

38 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Interview Candidates Key Historical Actors Key Historical Actors Bloomfield Educators Bloomfield Educators

39 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Interview Candidates Key Historical Actors Key Historical Actors Bloomfield Educators Bloomfield Educators Real Estate Agents Real Estate Agents

40 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Interview Candidates Key Historical Actors Key Historical Actors Bloomfield Educators Bloomfield Educators Real Estate Agents Real Estate Agents Residents on selected streets Residents on selected streets

41 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Key Historical Actor Key Historical Actor Adelle Wright Adelle Wright Chair of Human Relations Commission Chair of Human Relations Commission

42 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Key Historical Actor Key Historical Actor Adelle Wright Adelle Wright Chair of Human Relations Commission Chair of Human Relations Commission Q: We’ve read reports about racial steering and block- busting in Bloomfield. Did you experience or witness any of these? A: We were suspicious because certain streets would turn over, as we said, so fast…And in order to try to figure out what was happening as far as steering was concerned, we set up teams of a black couple and a white couple… Whether or not they were shown something of similar price in some place besides Bloomfield -- that was critical.

43 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Residents on selected streets Residents on selected streets

44 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Residents on selected streets – search City Directory Residents on selected streets – search City Directory

45 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing Residents on selected streets Residents on selected streets Irene Llewellyn, 7 Alexander Rd Irene Llewellyn, 7 Alexander Rd Q: Were you ever encouraged to move? A: No one was pressured. When we bought our house if that happened I wasn’t aware of it happening, it could have. My end of the street, of probably the ten houses at the end, three of us were minorities and the rest were not. But as the types changed, people began to move because there was what they call steering and real estate agencies steered minorities to particular areas in Bloomfield and not to other parts of Bloomfield.

46 Part 2: Oral History Interviewing  Next Steps Interviews scheduled with 1960s-70s Board of Education members (Frank Thaller & Norma LeFebvre) about real estate, racial change, and public schools Interviews scheduled with 1960s-70s Board of Education members (Frank Thaller & Norma LeFebvre) about real estate, racial change, and public schools

47 Part 3: Street-level Analysis

48 Bloomfield Assessor’s Office, Property Cards ( )

49 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Bloomfield Assessor’s Office, Property Cards ( ) Calculate Residential Turnover

50 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Bloomfield Assessor’s Office, Property Cards ( ) Calculate Market Value Calculate Assessed Value

51 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Comparison of 13 Bloomfield streets in Southeastern section Green = identified as racially transitional in 1973 public hearing

52 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Analysis of Residential Turnover Rate from Darker blue = higher rate of turnover

53 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Analysis of Residential Turnover Rate from Darker blue = higher rate of turnover No significant differences between identified vs non- identified streets

54 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Analysis of Percentage Change in Assessed Property Values, Darker green = greater positive growth

55 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Analysis of Percentage Change in Assessed Property Values, Darker green = greater positive growth No significant differences between identified vs non- identified streets

56 Part 3: Street-level Analysis Next Steps

57 Acknowledgements


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