Join Knoxville City Councilman Marshall Stair for a consideration of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein at noon on Wednesday, July 25, in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium. Bring your lunch or pick up something downtown. Drinks are available for fifty cents. Reading the book is optional.
"As the City of Knoxville turns its attention to improving the zoning code, I thought it was important for the community to take an historical look at some of the negative consequences of government regulations, specifically attempts to increase segregation," Stair said. "I hope reading and discussing Color of Law will give us a better understanding of these harmful policies as we modify our code to increase affordability and diversity."
Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. David Oshinsky of the New York Times Book Review describes The Color of Law as “a powerful and disturbing history of residential segregation in America…. One of the great strengths of Rothstein’s account is the sheer weight of evidence he marshals…. While the road forward is far from clear, there is no better history of this troubled journey than The Color of Law.”
Marshall Stair is a civil litigation attorney at the law firm of Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C. and a member of City Council since 2011. While serving on Council, Stair has been a strong advocate for quality development by pushing to update the zoning code, reduce commercial sign clutter, improve transit, and promote walkable communities. Stair serves on the boards of Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Legacy Parks Foundation, and is also a member of the Bijou Facilities Committee and the BikeWalk Advisory Committee. Stair and his wife, Natalie, live in Old North Knoxville with their daughter Stella and dog Queenie.