As the nation witnesses some of the most impassioned and turbulent protest movements surrounding racial injustice in over fifty years, there is tremendous value in reflecting on the historical agents and forces that have contributed to the racial histories of Harrisburg. We dedicate this exhibition to some of the key stories of ethnic and racial segregation, as well as individual resilience, that have shaped the history of south-central Pennsylvania over the last century. This is a developing exhibition in summer and fall 2020.
Agents of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation showed up in Harrisburg in 1935 to zone the residential districts of the city and surrounding communities into desirable and undesirable areas. Zoning hastened the pace of racial segregation and had long-term consequences for regional populations. Story Map Coming Summer-Fall 2020.
As new houses were constructed in the city and suburbs of Harrisburg in the 1920s-1950s, they increasingly conveyed restrictions not only about fences and construction, but also about who could and could not live in the house. Coming Fall 2020.