Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Linda Gartz’s Redlined exposes the racist lending rules that refused mortgages to anyone in areas with even one black resident.
As blacks moved deeper into Chicago’s West Side during the 1960s, whites fled by the thousands. But Linda Gartz’s parents, Fred and Lil, chose to stay in their integrating neighborhood, overcoming previous prejudices as they met and formed friendships with their African American neighbors.
The community sinks into increasing poverty and crime after two race riots destroy its once vibrant business district, but Fred and Lil continue to nurture their three apartment buildings and tenants for the next twenty years in a devastated landscape—even as their own relationship cracks and withers.
After her parents’ deaths, Linda discovers long-hidden letters, diaries, documents, and photos stashed in the attic of her former home. Determined to learn what forces shattered her parents’ marriage and undermined her community, she searches through the family archives and immerses herself in books on racial change in American neighborhoods.
Told through the lens of Linda’s discoveries of the personal and political, Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago delivers a riveting story of a community fractured by racial turmoil, an unraveling and conflicted marriage, a daughter’s fight for sexual independence, and an up-close, intimate view of the racial and social upheavals of the 1960s.
After her talk, Linda will sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.
Linda Gartz is a six-time Emmy-award-honored television producer, blogger, and essay writer.
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