Highways, in their inanimate state, cannot be racist. However, the forces that located them and the consequences of their placement are inextricably connected to race. Deborah Archer, a law professor and civil rights lawyer, captures the central concept: “Highways were built through and around Black communities to entrench racial inequality and protect white spaces and privilege.”
In the new book, Justice and the Interstates: The Racist Truth About Urban Highways, editors Ryan Reft, Amanda Phillips du Lucas, and Rebecca Retzlaff explore racial injustice and the interstate highway system. They collect essays that address the dislocation caused by interstates. The book came out of a series of articles in Metropole, a publication of the Urban History Association.