Walking the Red Line: Roanoke and the Legacies of HOLC Residential Segregation

Author: Hunter Haskins
Major: History and Political Science
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: Completed

With the Great Depression threatening home mortgages across the nation, the federal government scrambled to create a systematic process to stop foreclosures by granting home loans to homeowners most worthy of receiving government support. The resulting Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps determined who in particular neighborhoods within a city were worthy of these loans caused subsequent instances of widespread racism and residential segregation. Roanoke, Virginia was one of those cities which discriminated against residents of color using one such ‘redlined’ 1937 HOLC map. Studying certain communities within Roanoke reveals the extent to which ‘redlining’ exacerbated racial segregation in the city, and more importantly, how these maps across the twentieth century perpetuated preexisting legacies of prejudice and discrimination.

Haskins Distinction Project Final