Faculty Affiliate Bruce Orenstein Interviewed by CBS News

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Cook Center Faculty Affiliate and Artist-in-Residence Bruce Orenstein was interviewed on CBS Chicago on Friday, April 12 about his four-part documentary series Shame of Chicago, Shame of the Nation. He joined Shame of Chicago producer Chris Jenkins to talk about about the stories explored in episode 1 of the series titled “The Color Tax”, premiering Thursday April 18.

Shame of Chicago, Shame of the Nation lays bare the story of how Chicago devised the nation’s most sweeping system of racially segregated housing—and how it diminished the lives of generations of Black families, creating the vast racial wealth gap that persists to this day.

In episode 1 of the series, “The Color Tax”, experts discuss that while the white middle class was rapidly expanding and benefitting from federal policies that promoted their home equity, Black families were forced to purchase residences via contract sales, paying premiums for homes that they could lose after missing just a single payment. This episode explores the devastating impact that these contracts had on Black wealth-building and racial comity in Chicago, and their role in jumpstarting a wealth gap that continued to widen as white affluence grew.

Episode 1, “The Color Tax”, and all future episodes, will be available to stream here or the PBS app.

To see the full CBS Chicago interview, click here.