"Santa Monica, California joins a handful of U.S. cities seeking to atone for the negative effects of 'urban renewal' programs in the 1950s and 1960s."
"WASHINGTON - The way Robbie Jones sees it, the big infrastructure projects that reworked the face of her California hometown a half-century ago included a pointed message for minority communities.
During the 1950s and 1960s, whole neighborhoods in Santa Monica were forced to move to make way for what were called urban renewal projects, including a civic center and freeway.
'That whole community, predominantly African American residents, were uprooted, and their homes later ... burned to the ground,' the 63-year-old activist and historian told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
'To me, that was sending a message,' she said, referencing the history of racism across the United States that made Black families feel unwelcome or endangered in certain neighborhoods.
The Santa Monica projects displaced thousands of households, disproportionately affecting communities of color and often paying them too little to relocate in the city, according to a city report."