fair housing and diversity

Books, Movies, Plays, and Speeches

historical and enlightening resources

Books, Movies, Plays, and Speeches

Fair Housing Council (FHCO) staff, Board Members, and colleagues have collected the following list of books, movies, and plays for your enjoyment.

If you have a fair housing- or diverisity-related item to add to this page please let us know at information@FHCO.org; be sure to include "Books, Movies, and Plays on FHCO.org" in your subject line.

Contents of this Page:

Plays and Speeches



Click here for Children's Books or here for Teen Books

101 Tools for Tolerance: Simple Ideas for Promoting Equity and Celebrating Diversity
A 16-page piece from the Souther Poverty Law Center; http://www.tolerance.org

106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them) by Elderd, Gary. John Wiley & Sons, 2002.

6,000 Years of Housing by Schoenauer, Norbert. W. W.Norton & Company, 2000.

A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940, Elizabeth McLagan

A Short History of Portland, Gordon DeMarco

Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
A novel by Sherman Alexie offers an insider's view about life as a Spokane, Washington Indian; what it means to live on the reservation; and the challenges that face young people growing up in those circumstances. Considered a book for young adults, some of the novel's content has become controversal. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2007.

Accessible Home Design
While not a detailed primer on all of the Fair Housing Act's Design and Construction requirements for multi-family housing or the requirements found in the Americans with Disabilities Act, this easy to read book none-the-less touts the benefits of accessibility. Authored by Thomas D. Davies Jr. and Carol Peredo Lopez; published by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in 2006.

What must I do to install an elevator in my two-story home? Can I retrofit my master bathroom to include a spacious roll-in shower? How can my flower garden be made more accessible? Accessible home projects have always involved intricate planning and design, but their construction is often compromised because builders are unfamiliar with the specialized concepts and techniques. The need for expert information on this area of design is critical, and in response, PVA offers this a book that can guide you to develop attractive and functional designs that not only improve accessibility, but also increase the comfort and enjoyment of your home. http://www.pva.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=6345

America Would Lose It’s Soul: The Immigration Restriction Debate, 1920-1924
Vilja Lehtinen

American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass by Denton, Nancy and Douglas Massey. Harvard University Press, 1993.

American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto by Venkatesh, Sudhir Alladi. Harvard University Press, 2000.

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age
Written by Kevin Boyle, this book won the National Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To quote one review, it is “a poignant biography, a tour-de-force of historical detective work, a gripping courtroom drama, and a powerful reflection on race relations in America.

As Long As They Don’t Move Next Door: Segregation & Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods by Meyer, Stephen Grant. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

Autobiography of Medgar Evers: A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed...
Written by Myrlie Evers-Williams and Manning Marable and published by Basic Civitas Books. In June 1963, Evers, an NAACP field secretary in Mississippi, was assassinated in the driveway of his Jackson home by a White supremacist. The slaying was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement, prompting John F. Kennedy to give his most impassioned speech about the need for racial tolerance.

Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates Jr. NYU Press, 2011.
12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World during the Middle Passage. Over ten and a half million were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America. This astonishing fact changes our entire picture of the history of slavery in the Western hemisphere. Despite their great numbers, the cultural and social worlds that they created remain largely unknown to most Americans. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/27/138601410/what-it-means-to-be-black-in-latin-america

Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Lifein a Northern City by Drake, St. Clair. University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City
Written by Mary Patitillo and published by University of Chicago Prescs, this book is a study of Chicago’s North Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood.

Bleeding Albina: A History of Community Disinvestment: 1940-2000
Karen J. Gibson and Irina V. Sharkova, Portland State University

Building a West Coast Ghetto: African American Housing in Portland, 1910-1960
Stuart, McElderry, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 92, 2001: 137-1148

Buying a Home When You’re Single by Albrecht, Donna G. John Wiley & Sons, 2001.

Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-1968
This evocative book, written by Myrlie Evers Williams, is the first to tell the story of the civil rights movement through the inspiring photographs that recorded, promoted, and protected it. Published by Abbeville Press; http://www.abbeville.com/bookpage.asp?isbn=0789201232

Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination by Yinger, John. New York: Russell Sage, 1995.

The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research and Fair Housing by Ross, Stephen L. and John Yinger. MIT Press, 2002.

Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Dyson, Michael Eric Basic Cavitas, 2006.

Come Out and Win: Organize Yourself, Your Community and Your World by Hyde, Sue. Beacon Press, 2007.

Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival by Grogan, Paul. Westview Press, 2002.

Complicity: How the Nort Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
Written by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jenifer Frank, and Cheryl Magazine. This is a 2005 Ballantine Book version of the Hardford Courant series on how Connecticut was involved in the slave economy of the colonies.

Crossing the Class and Color Lines: From Public Housing to White Suburbia by Rubinowitz, Leonard. University of Chicago, 2000.

Cost of Privilege: Taking on the System of White Supremacy and Racism
Written by Chip Smith; published by Camino Press; http://www.costofprivilege.com

Dreams of the West: A History of the Chinese in Oregon, 1850-1950
Ron Hongbaol

Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans
Written by Jean Pfaelzer and published by Random House, this book deals with the ethnic cleaning of Chinese Americans from California and the Pacific Northwest in the second half of the 19th Century; http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl/9781400061341.html

The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream by Cashin, Sheryll. Public Affairs, 2004.

Forces of Prejudice in Oregon, 1920-1925
Laurence J. Saalfeld, Portland, OR, 1984

From Tenements to the Taylor Homes: In Search of an Urban Housing Policy in the Twentieth Century America by Bauman, John F. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

Gift: The Oregon Nikkei Story Retold
Deena K. Nakata

Glimpses from the Past: 50 Years of Community Building
Richard Sanders, published by the Housing Authority of Portland in 1991 for it’s 50th anniversary

Hate Groups: Opposing Viewpoints by Williams, Mary.Greenhaven Press, 2004

History of White People
Author Nell Irvin Painter is interviewed on her book by National Public Radio on 03/15/10; www.FHCO.org/mp3s/HistOfWhitePeopleNPR03152010.mp3. Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. The book traces the idea of a white race--often for economic, scientific, and political ends.

Homeowners Association and You: Ultimate Guide to Harmonious Community Living by Coleman, Marlene & William Huss. Sphinx, 2006.

How to Buy a Condominium or Townhouse: Practical Advice from a Real Estate Expert by Evans, Denise. Sphinx, 2006.

How to Buy a Home Without Getting Hammered: One of America’s Most Respected Home Builders Shares His Secrets by Weekley, David M. Worthing Brighton Press, 2001.

Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America
Written by Elinor Langer and published by Metropolitan Books, this book details a brutal Portland murder in the 1980s in what was labeled the most prejudiced city in the West and, at the time of the killing, it was probably the whitest big city in the United States.

Immigrants' Children, Jewish and Italian memories of Old South Portland
Written by Polina Olsen; published by Smart Talk Publications. Provides a description of immigrant life in old South Portland from teh early 1900s until urban renewal in the 1960s. It was a self-contained community that replicated the societies they left behind in Europe. This oral history captures daily life through the words of the immigrant's children and includes maps, history of specific buildings and memories from a range of former residents. http://home.comcast.net/~smart_talk_publications

Inside the Klavern: The Secret Minutes of an Oregon Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s
Edited by David A. Horowitz. Annotated collection of the minutes of a thriving Klavern in LaGande between 1922 and 1924

Japanese-American Internment in American History by Fremon, David. Enslow Publishers, 1996.

Jews Of Oregon 1850-1950
Written by Steven Lowenstein and published by the Jewish Historical Society, this book provides an illustrated history of the migration of Jews to Oregon and the history of Oregon's Jewish community from the pioneer days to present.

Landlording: A Handy Manual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves by Robinson, Leigh. Express Publishing, 2001.

The Levittowners: Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community by Gans, Herbert J. Columbia University Press, 1982.

Local Community Fact Book, Chicago Metropolitan Area edited by The Chicago Fact Book Consortium. Academy Chicago Publishers, 1995.

Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations
Written by Ira Berlin and published by Viking Adult is reviewed (and highly recommended) by Kevin Boyle in a New York Times Sundy Book Review article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/books/review/Boyle-t.html.

Nazi Movement in America
Elinor Langer. The story of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw in Portland, Oregon

New Homeowner’s Handbook: What to Do After You Move In by Bucholz, Barbara B. Dearborn Financial Publishing, 2000.

Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity - Implications for 21st Century American Society
Written by David Engstrom and Lissette Piedra; published by NASW Press; http://www.naswpress.org

Portland’s Chinese: The Early Years
Portland Center for Urban Education, 1975

Public Memory, Race, and Ethnicity edited by G. Mitchell Reyes; published by Newcastle, 2010.
his text that takes into consideration the influence of race and ethnicity on our collective practices of remembrance. How do the ways we remember the past influence racial and ethnic identities? How do racial and ethnic identities shape our practices of remembrance? https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_3836795

Privileged Places: Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity by Squires, Gregory D. and Charis E. Kubrin. Rienner Publications, 2006.

Ranches, Rowhouses, and Railroad Flats: American Homes: How They Shape Our Landscapes and Neighborhoods by Hunter, Christine. W. W. Norton &Company, 1999.

Renter’s Rights: The Basics by Portman, Janet. Nolo, 2000.

Renewing Hope Within Neighborhoods of Despair: The Community-Based Model by Rubin, Herbert. University of New York, 2000.

Segregation: The Rising Cost for America
Edited by James Carr and Nandinee Kutty; sponsored by the National Fair Housing Alliance. This book documents how discriminatory practices in the housing markets through most of the past century have produced extreme levels of residential segregation that result in significant disparities in access to good jobs, quality education, homeownership and asset accumulation between minority and non-minority households. http://www.nationalfairhousing.org/Portals/33/News%20Docs/SEGREGATION%20Flyer%20

Strangers in the Land
John Higham. The history of agitation for immigration restriction in early 20th century

The State of Black Michigan, 1967-2007
Edited by Joe Darden, Curtis Stokes, and Richard Thomas; published by Michigan State University Press; http://www.msupress.msu.edu

Stepping Over the Color Line: African American Students in White Suburban Schools by Wells, Amy Stuart and Robert L. Crain. Yale Press, 1997.

The Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family
Written by by Lauren Kessler and published by Reed Business Information, Inc., this book portrays a Japanese American family from the early 1900s to World World II internment camps and after. http://laurenkessler.com/books

The Suburban Housing Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods by Keating, Dennis.. Temple University Press, 1994.

Subprime Mortgages: America’s Latest Boom and Bust by Gramlich, Ed. The Urban Institute, 2007.

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
by James Loewen. Touchstone, 2005.

Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Oregon
For decades Oregon had the second largest Chinese population in the US and, in geographic area, Portland's two Chinatowns were the largest in North America. Author Marie Rose Wong chronicles the history of Portland's Chinatowns from their early beginnings in the 1850s until the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1940s. Published by University of Washington Press. http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/WONSWE.html

Stories from Jewish Portland by Polina Olsen
Portland author, Polina Olsen, recounts the history of this richly layered community through a collection of letters, interviews and stories drawn from her series “Looking Back,” published in the Jewish Review. In this expanded collection, explore the lives of early settlers brought by opportunity and New York’s Industrial Removal Office, walk the streets of the old neighborhood, alive with basketball games and junk peddlers, and learn the proud history of institutions like the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. 2011

Teaching about Asian Pacific Americans: Effective Activities, Strategies and Assignments for Classrooms and Communities
Edited by Edith Wen-Chu Chen and Glenn Omatsu; published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
A 32-page piece from the Southern Poverty Law Center; http://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/publication/Ten_Ways_2010.pdf

Teens and Race by Marcovitz, Hal and Alec Gallup. Mason Crest Publishing, 2004.

Tips and Traps When Buying a Condo,Co-Op, or Townhouse by Irwin, Robert. McGraw-Hill Companies, 2000.

Tips and Traps When Mortgage Hunting by Irwin, Robert. McGraw Hill, 2005

To Kill a Mockingbird
A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American fiction. The novel is loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explained the novel's impact by writing, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."

Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing and the Black Ghetto by Polikoff, Alexander. Northwestern, 2006.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, Random House, 2010.
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, one of the great untold stories of American history is chronicled: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

Where are Poor People to Live? Transforming Public Housing Communities by Bennet, Larry, Janet L. Smith and Patricia Wright, eds. . M.E. Sharpe, 2006.

Why the Poor Pay More: How to Stop Predatory Lending by Squires, Gregory D. Greenwood Publishing, 2004.

Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?: Simple Advice for Settling in After Your Move by LeVine, Leslie. Contemporary Books, Inc., 2002.

Why We Hate by Levin, Jack. Dearborn, 2004.

The Working Poor, Fair Housing Comes of Age by Metcalf, George. Greenwood Press, 1988.

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Children's Books:

Come Home With Me A Multicultural Treasure Hunt by Jenness, Aylette. New Press, 1993. Ages 9-11

Cleversticks by Bernard, Ashley. Crown, 1991. Ages 4 - 8

DOTS A Fair Housing Tale
"DOTS" is a children's book that explains our rights to live where we want in language that children can understand. The book was written by Gary Ross and illustrated by Anwar Morse. Available through the the Erie County Fair Housing Partnership at http://www.ecfhp.org

Libby and the Cape of Visitability by Eleanor Smith and Nadeen Green. E-Book, 2013. Ages 8 - 13. Available online at http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000647250/Libby-and-the-Cape-of-Visitability.aspx

Through My Eyes: Articles and Interviews by Bridges, Ruby. Scholastic, 1999. Ages 7 -10

The Jacket by Clements, Andrew. Simon & Schuster, 2002. Ages 9 - 11

Everybody Cooks Rice by Dooley, Norah. Carolrhoda Books,Inc., 1991. Ages 4 - 9

The Fair Housing Five and the Haunted House by Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Council, 2010. Ages 6+
Note the Fair Housing Council or Oregon (FHCO) has copies of an amended version for Oregon at the FHCO the office in Portland.  Contact dhess@FHCO.org for further information.

Freedom Summer by Wiles, Deborah. Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books, 2001. Ages 4-8

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Friedman, Ina R. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984. Ages 4 - 8

A Pig is Moving In by Fries, Claudia. Orchard Books, 2000.Ages 4-7

Amazing Grace by Hoffman, Mary. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1991. Ages 4 – 8

My Name is Jorge On Both Sides of the River: Poems by Medina, Jane. Boyds Mills, 1999. Ages 9 - 11

The Big Orange Splot by Pinkwater, Daniel. Hastings House,1977. Ages 4 - 8

Chicken Sunday by Polacco, Patricia. Philomel, 1992. Ages 5 - 8

Seuss, Dr. The Sneeches and Other Stories. Random House, 1961. Ages 3 - 8

The Noonday Friends by Stolz, Mary. Harper Collins, 1965.Ages 8-12

More, More, More Said the Baby by Williams, Vera.Harper Collins, 1990. Ages 1-5

The Other Side by Woodson, Jacqueline. Putnam, 2001. Ages 5 - 8

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Teen Books :

Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Bausum, Ann. National Geographic, December 2005.

A Heart Divided by Bennett, Cherie and Jeff Gottesfeld. Random House, Laurel Leaf, 2004.

What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People by Gaskins, Pearl Fuyo and Pearl Fuyo Gaskins. Henry Holt Company, 1999.

How Ya Like Me Now? by Halpin, Brendan. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007.

The Outsiders by Hinton, S. E. Puffin Books, 1967.

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Jiménez, F.. University of New Mexico Press, 1997.

Rebound by Krech, Bob. Marshall Cavendish, 2006.

Uncommon Faith by Krisher, Trudy. Holiday House, 2003.

An Ocean Apart, a World Away by Lensey, Namioka. Delacourt Books, 2002.

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Naidoo, Beverley and Desmond Tutu. Harper Collins, 2003.

We Just Want to Live Here: A Palestinian Teenager, anIsraeli Teenager-An Unlikely Friendship by Sylke, Rifa’i, Amal, Ainbinde, Odelia, and Tempel. St. Martin’s Press, 2003.

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Movies and Television:

Black in Latin America
A four-part series from PBS about the influence of African descent on Latin America, is the latest production from renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The series examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/black-in-latin-america

Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story
A 2007 film documentary directed and produced by Bill Kavanagh details the long-running Yonkers housing drama. http://www.brick-by-brick.com.

A Raisin in the Sun film
A 1961 drama film starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett. The adaptation was based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry (listed here under Plays and Speeches). In 2005, A Raisin in the Sun was selected for preservation in the United States of America National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

A Raisin in the Sun television movie
A 2008 television movie directed by Kenny Leon. The teleplay by Paris Qualles is based on the award-winning 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry (listed here under Plays and Speeches). The film debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast by ABC on February 25, 2008. According to Nielsen Media Research, the program was watched by 12.7 million viewers and ranked #9 in the ratings for the week ending March 2, 2008.

Ghosts of Mississippi
A 1996 drama directed by Rob Reiner staring Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg and James Woods. The plot focuses on the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith, the white supremacist accused of the 1963 assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers.

LOST (Season 5, Episode 13, 0:00-0:49, Aired 04/15/09)
This edition of the popular ABC TV series features an example of illegal housing discrimination in the first few seconds of the show. The dramatized flashback of the show's character, Miles, appears to have preceded the real life Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 that made familial status (the presence of children under 18 in a household) a protected class across the US.

To Kill a Mockingbird
A 1962 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Harper Lee (included in the list of books above). It was directed by Robert Mulligan and stars Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch. In 1995, the film was listed in the National Film Registry. It also ranks twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time.

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Plays & Speeches:

Clybourne Park
A 2010 play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun portraying fictional events set before and after the play and loosely based on real life events. The play applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life by portraying the evolution of one home's history over 50 years.

I Have A Dream speech
An historic public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., during which he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites among others would coexist harmoniously as equals. King's delivery of the speech on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters, the speech is often considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in history and was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.

At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of "I have a dream", possibly prompted by Mahalia Jackson's cry, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!". He had delivered a speech incorporating some of the same sections in Detroit in June 1963, when he marched on Woodward Avenue with Walter Reuther and the Reverend C. L. Franklin, and had rehearsed other parts.

The full text and video with audio of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech can be found at: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

A Raisin in the Sun play
A play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The story is based upon a family's own experiences growing up in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first play with a black director (Lloyd Richards) on Broadway. Waiting for the curtain to rise on opening night, Hansberry and producer, Phillip Rose, did not expect the play to be a success, for it had already received mixed reviews from a preview audience the night before.

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