Author Talk on Housing Equity With Richard Rothstein

San Mateo County Libraries will host Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, on Monday, March 15 at 4:00 PM as the first event in our upcoming Equity Author Series. The series will highlight authors who write about equity in housing, immigration, education, and LGBTQIA+ issues.

Register in advance to join Rothstein’s author visit and delve into the history of race and residential segregation and learn how it has influenced society. The Color of Law counters the argument that racial segregation was caused by unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants outside the law. Instead, Rothstein argues that segregation in America is the byproduct of explicit government policies at local, state, and federal levels, leading to racial segregation in every metropolitan area in the U.S.  The presentation will be introduced by our Governing Board member and East Palo Alto City Council member Regina Wallace-Jones.

Pick up your hold on a physical copy of The Color of Law through Curbside Services. The Color of Law is also available as an eBook and eAudioBook via Overdrive. We will be giving away free copies of the book while supplies last at all of our community libraries during Curbside Services hours from Thursday, March 4 to Saturday, March 6.

We’re committed to offering programs that create opportunities for discussion and learning about equity issues in our communities. Stay tuned for information about future events in our Equity Author Series!

Praise for The Color of Law 

The Color of Law was longlisted for the National Book Award for best nonfiction book of 2017. It was a New York Times bestseller and listed as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and NPR. The Color of Law won the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction and the California Book Award.   

"A masterful explication of the single most vexing problem facing black America: the concentration of the poor and middle class into segregated neighborhoods. Rothstein documents the deep historical roots and the continuing practices in law and social custom that maintain a profoundly un-American system holding down the nation’s most disadvantaged citizens." —  Thomas B. Edsall, author of The Age of Austerity.  

"Through meticulous research and powerful human stories, Richard Rothstein reveals a history of racism hiding in plain sight and compels us to confront the consequences of the intentional, decades-long governmental policies that created a segregated America. The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book." — Sherrilyn A. Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. 

"Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law is one of those rare books that will be discussed and debated for many decades. Based on careful analyses of multiple historical documents, Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." — William Julius Wilson, author of The Truly Disadvantaged

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute, the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and of the Haas Institute at the University of California. In addition, Rothstein is the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found on his webpage at the Economic Policy Institute, opens a new window