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Poisoned City

"The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy" by Anna Clark

In her book, "The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy," Anna Clark reports that urban segregation came from restrictive covenants in most housing developments. Blacks were restricted to small communities in most areas. That changed when courts ruled covenants unenforceable in 1948. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act, part of the Civil Rights Act, made housing discrimination illegal. As African Americans moved into white neighborhoods, housing values fell, and whites fled to the suburbs.

I will be surprised if segregation is found in west St. Louis County. In the Rockwood School District, most homes were built after 1968. Sellers do not discriminate. Residents come from all over. Segregation, if any, is economic. Those who can afford to live here are welcome. But there is resistance to low-income housing.

In the St. Louis area, Catholic or Lutheran parochial schools are the traditional alternative to public schools. Parents usually choose them for the smaller, more controlled student population. Is that racism? Or is it merely concern about the quality of public school education or some of the rumors that circulate? Are parochial schools segregated? Please tell us more.

Paul E. Eckler • Wildwood