This year's One Book One San Diego title The Vanishing Half is a complex and well-told story of twin sisters who choose very different paths. The novels explores racial passing, housing discrimination, colorism within Black communities, and how racism, gender expression, and other factors influence one's identity.
This research guide focuses on housing discrimination, which is explored in the book.
For information on how to borrow the ebook or audiobook edition of The Vanishing Half from San Diego County Library, see the box at the bottom of this page.
Some of the resources below require a PLNU OneLogin to access. For help accessing a resource, contact Librarian Robin Lang:
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:
Websites and Newspaper Articles:
If you're interested in learning more about housing discrimination in American history, considering using the below search terms in several different library databases, to learn more:
Race discrimination in housing
Fair Housing Act of 1968 (U.S.)
These ebooks are available through Ryan Library and require a PLNU OneLogin.
San Diego County Libraries (SDCL) has generously provided free access with no wait-time to the electronic copy of The Vanishing Half. If you don't already have a SDCL library card, signing-up for one is easy.
To sign up for an electronic library card using your mobile number, you mobile number have an area code from San Diego County. Once you're registered for a library card or if your mobile number is from San Diego County, use the instructions below.
Instructions to Access eBook
One Book, One San Diego is our region's premier literary program, presented in partnership between KPBS and over 80 public libraries, service organizations, universities, and other educational institutions. Now in its 16th year, the purpose is to bring our community closer together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. Ryan Library is a proud partner. For a calendar of events, visit kpbs.org/one-book/.
Watch the one-hour One Book launch event with Brit Bennett interviewed by PLNU's Professor of Journalism, Dr. Dean Nelson.
"Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan. Her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller, and her second novel The Vanishing Half was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her essays have been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.
-Biography from https://britbennett.com/about
This redlining map for the City of San Diego from 1935 shows 'grades' given to neighborhoods based on perceived risks to banks offering mortgages. Typically, banks would not lend to homebuyers trying to purchase properties in the 'red' neighborhoods and Black homebuyers, and other people of color, were prevented from obtaining mortgages for properties in 'green' neighborhoods.
The website Mapping Inequality allows you to zoom into different regions in the country to view redlining maps for different municipalities. To view maps, visit: https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=5/39.1/-94.58.
(To view a larger version of the map, click on the map below.)
(Nelson, R. K., Winling, L., Marciano, R., & Connolly, N. (1935). Street map of the City of San Diego. Mapping Inequality. https://s3.amazonaws.com/holc/tiles/CA/SanDiego/1938/holc-scan.jpg)
Educate ourselves on racial covenants, redlining, and other discriminatory housing practices
Donate to entities like the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program, which helps Black people in San Diego put together a downpayment on a home
Legislation, voting, and community activism:
Support Rent control
Support use of community land trusts to fund residential housing in the form of housing co-ops
Support giving home sellers incentives to sell to buyers who are already from the community and who aren’t necessarily the highest bidder
Support better housing development policies, such as more affordable housing requirements for all new multi-unit building projects
Support restrictions on flipping houses
Be a good neighbor
Other ideas or questions? Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Racial covenants are restrictive clauses added to original land grant deeds prohibiting certain people from purchasing the property, and in some cases, even residing on the property, unless as a hired employee. Racial covenants were outlawed by the Supreme Court in 1948, but were never officially removed from grant deeds and some grant deeds after 1948 continued to include them.
To see an example of a racial clause on a land grant deed in San Diego County, see: Original 1947 Grant Deed with Racial Clause
From Lassiter, M. D. (2010). Suburbs and politics. In M. Kazin (Ed.), The Princeton encyclopedia of American political history. Princeton University Press.
“By the 1920s, real estate developers and homeowners associations promoted restrictive covenants in most new subdivisions, often specifically excluding occupancy by African Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, American Indians, and Jews. The NAACP repeatedly challenged the constitutionality of racial covenants during the early decades of the modern civil rights movement, but the Supreme Court continued to permit their enforcement until the Shelley v. Kraemer decision of 1948” .
"Shelley v. Kraemer found that racial covenants violate the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states 'no state. . . [shall] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'”