In Free Market-Loving Houston, Blacks Haven’t Always Shared In The City’s Success

Deed restrictions and other racist rules kept African Americans from progressing, even as white Houston grew rich.

By Rhonda Fanning & Shelly BrisbinOctober 20, 2020 5:55 am,

The Great Migration of early and mid-20th century saw roughly 6 million African Americans from the South move north to seek a better life. But not all Black Texans headed north. Some migrated from rural areas to big cities like Houston. And as historians have pointed out, business-friendly Houston wasn’t always so open for Black communities. 

Erin Douglas is a business reporter for The Houston Chronicle, where she recently wrote about this history. Douglas told Texas Standard that Houston’s reputation as a free market paradise was at least somewhat at odds with the Black experience.

“We wanted to see if… that narrative really held up for Black communities,” she said. “And ultimately, as historians told me, it really does not. Oftentimes, the market failed when it came to Black businesses and communities.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What Houston’s urban development practices contributed to discrimination against Black residents

– How Black workers struggled to break into skilled professions

– How attitudes have changed in Houston to support Black success

Texas Inc. Insider is hosting a webinar on “The Movement to Support Black-Owned Businesses,” Tuesday October 20 at 1 pm. 

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