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Inequity for Sale

PUbLIC ART, Installation

Inequity for Sale is an artistic, critical exploration envisioned by social justice artist Tonika Johnson that looks at the racist practice of Land Sale Contracts (LSC) in Black neighborhoods, and how LSCs directly contributed to the wealth gap and community disinvestment we witness today.

The design process of these land markers included research, prototyping and coordination of fabrication and installation. Additional components of this project include a website documenting the stories of this period of plunder, a podcast documenting perspectives of different researches and activists invested in advocacy for reparations and restitutions, and a walking tour via the Vamonde app that connects this history with present-day conditions in Greater Englewood.

Making injustice visible

Borderless team collaborated closely with social justice artist Tonika Johnson in designing one of the components of this project consisting of physical land markers installed in these properties to bring visibility to this issue.

Unpacking systemic racism through public art

Land Sale Contracts, or LSCs, were an unscrupulous practice wherein would be homebuyers, locked out of traditional mortgages by racist policies, were offered contracts that enforced excessive monthly payments without ever transferring ownership. According to a Duke University study, between 75-95% of homes sold to Black families during this period were sold via LSCs. “What happened during this crucial era, that of the making of America’s mass white middle class during the long postwar economic boom, was a systematic, legally sanctioned plunder of black wealth,” to the tune of over $3.2 billion.