Response to Jenna Lawson’s Post “Mr. Blandings’ Dream House and Aunt Jemima”

Original Post by Jenna Lawson: http://morrison.sunygeneseoenglish.org/2017/04/07/mr-blandings-dream-house-and-aunt-jemima/#more-1288

 

From your blog post this sentence, “I think sanitized versions of American history relate strongly to the American housing crisis, especially in neighborhoods that have retained racial homogeneity in the present without making any attempts to integrate”, stands out to me because it reminds me of my mention earlier today in class about Levittown. During 12th grade I took a class to learn about NY state’s history; of course during the class my teacher discussed the history of Long Island. One of our discussion was based on Levittown and how racist the town used to be and still, as you said, “retains racial homogeneity in the present without making any attempts to integrate.

 

Some history on Levittown is that it was created after WWII when many soldiers were trying to find their own home outside NYC. William J. Levitt decided to buy land on Long Island and created 5 types of houses that were extremely similar, but gave the buyer the idea of individuality (this was the first mass produced suburb). To buy the house, like any house today, the owners needed to sign a contract. Part of this contract stated that  “the property could not be used or rented by any individuals other than those of the Caucasian race”. This contract was in accordance with the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) at the time (<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown,_New_York>).

 

During my teachers discussion he told us of how he had a friend, who is African American, and refuses to drive through Levittown because of its history, and some people on Long Island nicknamed the area “Racist Levittown”.

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