‘A World Of Ubiquitous Racism’: New Attack On Game Of Monopoly

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Now the efforts to inject a discussion of racism into every aspect of American life have reached a game that most Americans have cherished for decades: Monopoly.

In a piece for The Atlantic titled, “The Prices on Your Monopoly Board Hold a Dark Secret,” and subheaded, “The property values of the popular game reflect a legacy of racism and inequality,” author Mary Pilon writes that a 1930s New Jersey realtor named Jesse Raiford “affixed prices to the properties on his board to reflect the actual real-estate hierarchy at the time. And in Atlantic City, as in so much of the rest of the United States, that hierarchy reflects a bitter legacy of racism and residential segregation.”

Pilon writes of Cyril and Ruth Harvey, “friends of Raiford’s who played a key role in popularizing the game,” that they lived on expensive Pennsylvania Avenue but had “previously lived on Ventnor Avenue, one of the yellow properties that represented some of Atlantic City’s wealthier neighborhoods, with their high walls and fences and racial covenants that excluded Black citizens.”

“The Harveys employed a Black maid named Clara Watson,” he notes. “She lived on Baltic Avenue in a low-income, Black neighborhood, not far from Mediterranean Avenue. On the Monopoly board, those are priced cheapest, at $60.” – READ MORE

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