John Davis, a 28 year old African-American software engineer who has an annual income of $110,000, waits for a real estate agent in front of a beautiful two-story house in Kirkwood. He owns a small software company called Hi-Tex that is located only a couple of blocks from his present North County home. His ten month old business has grown very rapidly and he is ready to buy a more substantial home. As he waits, he looks at the house and visualizes his wife pruning prize-winning roses in the garden that is in front of the house, and his two boys playing in the sprinkler in the front yard on a hot summer day. He stops daydreaming for a moment to look at his watch only to realize that the real estate agent is already a half-hour late. He becomes quite concerned and phones the agent. There is no answer on her cell phone and she does not answer his three pages. She never shows up. John heads for home, now frustrated and saddened, because he knows why the agent stood him up. He was a black man trying to buy a house in a predominately white neighborhood. This is the way that segregation affects John.
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I used to hear some of my black friends talk about “how hard it is to be a black man in America.” It thought that it was stupid because white people don’t really discriminate against black people anymore, and they have just as much freedom and opportunity as Caucasians. After doing some fairly extensive research on housing segregation and discrimination, I was astounded by my ignorance. The way that the real estate agent treated Mr. Davis was not the least bit far-fetched, it was reality. This really does happen in a number of cities across the nation, and St. Louis is at the top of the list. In a study done by the Equal Housing Opportunity Council in St. Louis, a black person and a white person with similar qualifications call a rental property owner to inquire about an apartment.