How the Gi Bill Failed Black Veterans of WW II

Though the GI Bill guaranteed low-interest mortgages and other loans, they were not administered by the VA itself. Thus, the VA could cosign, but not actually guarantee the loans. This gave white-run financial institutions free reign to refuse mortgages and loans to black people.

Redlining—a decades-old practice of marking maps by race to characterize the risks of lending money and providing insurance—made purchasing a home even more difficult for black veterans. Lenders froze out poorer neighborhoods, ensuring that loan assistance and insurance would be denied. And new white suburbs often came with overtly racist covenants that denied entry to black people. 

In 1947, only 2 of the more than 3,200 VA-guaranteed home loans in 13 Mississippi cities went to black borrowers. “These impediments were not confined to the South,” notes historian Ira Katznelson. “In New York and the northern New Jersey suburbs, fewer than 100 of the 67,000 mortgages insured by the GI bill supported home purchases by non-whites.”

Blakemore, Erin. (2019, June 21). How the GI Bill’s Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans. History.com. https://www.history.com/.amp/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits

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