November 13th, 2023 — By — In OCA Blog
OCA Member Josh Baker Speaks on the Historic Use of Eminent Domain By Universities to Displace Black Communities
Public universities have a long history of expanding campuses in the name of progress and economic growth. But often, these expansions used eminent domain and property seizures to disrupt and diminish thriving Black communities across the country. In the second half of the 20th century, the rapid growth of public universities across Virginia and many other states uprooted hundreds of Black families, hindering them from accumulating wealth in the most American way — homeownership.
An investigative series by The Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism and Pro Publica uncovers the damaging social and economic impacts on Black communities of college expansions at Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion, and the flagship University of Virginia. In a new panel discussion entitled “Erasing the Black Spot,” journalists and others share their findings and stories from the residents who were displaced by these expansions. OCA Virginia Member, Josh Baker also participated in this important panel to share his thoughts on the part eminent domain played in this disturbing chapter of American history. To view the panel discussion in its entirety, click here.