Neighborhood Mapping

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This map only represents a few of the racially restricted (white only) neighborhoods, including the suburban expansion of East Bakersfield and Southwest Bakersfield. This is only meant to be a small representation of all the 218 racially restricted neighborhoods in Kern County from 1938 to 1950. The 12-year period started when the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recommended using restrictive covenants, including race restrictions. Real estate agents, including realtor professional associations, also recommended the use of racially restrictive covenants in their manuals. The practice of using racially exclusive language ended in 1950 when the FHA announced that it would not finance loans with racially exclusive language. This was a result of Shelley v. Kraemer, a Supreme Court case that stopped the use of racially restrictive covenants and found the legal language violated the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment. This period also includes the beginning of the postwar suburban Bakersfield.

“That said premises, nor any part thereof, shall not be sold, conveyed, leased, or rented to any person of African, Chinese, Japanese or Mexican descent.” Thos McManus, Lot 12, Block 2, Highland Tract, May 26, 1937, Kern County Hall of Records

Regardless of the FHA’s decision, fair housing continued to be a conversation and fight. Brief relief came in 1963 when William Byron Rumford, a California Representative (Berkeley), authored a bill, the Rumford Fair Housing act. In 1964, the California Real Estate Association (now the California Association of Realtors) helped pass Proposition 14. California voters passed the proposition in 1964, overturning the Rumford Fair Housing Act. National Fair Housing came into legislation with the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the last Civil Rights Act, and continues to be a fight to achieve social justice. Redlining continues to be a conversation in many communities in Bakersfield. The Mayflower neighborhood was unique, as it was segregated as a black-only neighborhood. Mayflower would have met the conditions of a “redlined” neighborhood.

Click below to explore the neighborhood, read the covenant restrictions, and see the tract map.

 Tract 1387 Westchester          Tract 1532         Tract 1088 Lomita Verde         Tract 1094 Lomita Verde no.2      Tract 1095 Hillcrest

 Tract 1099 Holtby Park      Tract 1139 Golden State         Mayflower Annex      Tract 1072 Mt. Vernon

                                                                                                                                 Delano                McFarland

Explore the interactive map.

Green tracts represent white-only neighborhoods, and red were black-only.

The map was created by reading tract covenants (agreements or contracts) to identify race restriction clauses.