Has America Given Up on the Dream of Racial Integration?

This feature dives into the history on racial integration in housing through the story of the city of Beaumont, Texas.

Feature (Texas)

Alana Semuels
Atlantic, The
June 19, 2015
Full story

Tags: Benefits of Legal Aid, Disaster Recovery, Housing: Landlord-Tenant, Minorities: Racial/Ethnic

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas Appleseed, Lone Star Legal Aid, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS)


After a multi-year battle among the Beaumont Housing Authority, housing advocates, the Department of Housing and Development (HUD), and the Texas General Land Office, the city of Beaumont said it would rather give up the funding than build homes for these people in a richer and whiter part of town. HUD is now assigning the money to other communities and Beaumont has to find its own money to renovate Concord Homes, if it chooses to do so.


In 2010, white residents made up about 40 percent of Beaumont’s population, while black residents made up about 47 percent. Black and white residents go about their lives separately, unless the state or federal government intervenes. The city seems to have resigned itself to the idea that “integration will never work in Beaumont,” said Maddie Sloan, an attorney for Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit that litigates on behalf of low-income families.