I teach two college courses at South High School in Denver and The Color of Law has been instrumental in discussing housing discrimination and segregation.
In African American history, the intentional government policies that impacted generations of Black and Latino Americans still impact Denver today. We also discussed the book in relation to the Keyes v. Denver (1973) case and subsequent desegregation of Denver Public Schools. Neighborhoods and suburbs in Denver following that decision have left schools more segregated than ever. The concept of community or neighborhood public education is heavily influenced by housing discrimination. Students were engaged and really enjoyed diving deeply into this concept.
This book led to a student-led project idea that we will develop in Denver. Students want to interview residents who were impacted by discriminatory practices and talk about how it has shaped their experiences. Additionally, they want to look at the South High School classes of 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1976 during the first years of busing to talk about how students, teachers, parents, and community members responded to the integration of schools. The Color of Law sheds light on the problems that many cities and communities face today as a result of decades of housing discrimination.