A Black-majority city with a history of the most severe segregation and inequity, Richmond is still grappling with this legacy as it moves into the twenty-first century. Marvin Chiles now offers a unique take on Richmond’s racial politics since the civil rights era by demonstrating that the city’s current racial disparities in economic mobility, housing, and public education actually represent the unintended consequences of Richmond’s racial reconciliation measures. He deftly weaves municipal politics together with grassroots efforts, examining the work and legacies of Richmond’s Black leaders, from Henry Marsh on the city council in the 1960s to Mayor Levar Stoney, to highlight the urban revitalization and public history efforts meant to overcome racial divides after Jim Crow yet which ironically reinforced racial inequality across the city. Compellingly written, this project carries both local and broader regional significance for Richmonders, Virginians, southerners, and all Americans.

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