Restrictive Covenants

Chicago did not have Jim Crow laws on the books, but residential segregation was enforced through a variety of codes, social customs, and threats of violence. Racially restrictive covenants, contractual agreements attached to specific properties by owners, prohibited the sale or lease of any part of a building to designated groups of people, usually African Americans. The Federation of Neighborhood Associations and local groups of property owners promoted the use of covenants, while the NAACP and other civil rights activists campaigned to end this legalized discrimination. The courts began striking down race-based covenants in 1949, but their use continued through the 1950s.

Segregated Chicago
Restrictive Covenants