A 1939 memo about “The Negro Population of Philadelphia and Sub-Standard Housing Conditions.”
This memo from is dated October 25, 1939, and comes from the Urban League of Philadelphia, a local chapter of the National Urban League, an organization founded "to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights." The memo outlines key statistical differences between white and black Philadelphians, particularly with regard to housing. The memo makes clear that African Americans were disproportionately living in substandard conditions, and paying higher rents, with profound implications for health and crime. It suggests that contemporary housing policy did not address the issues facing black residents and that more would have to be done to address systemic inequalities.