What racial covenants look like

By some estimates, this discriminatory language — illegal and unenforceable today — still appears in millions of home deeds and neighborhood covenants. Below are examples shared by homeowners we talked to in San Diego and St. Louis.

“… no part of said property nor any portion thereof shall be for said term of fifty years occupied by any person not of the Caucasian race, it being intended thereby to restrict the use of said property for said period of time against the occupancy of owners or tenants of any portion of said property for residence or other purpose by people of the Negro or Mongolian race.”
  • The Greater Ville, St. Louis
  • House built: 1906
  • Restriction placed: 1911
“No lot covered by this indenture, or any part thereof, shall ever be sold, resold, conveyed, granted, devised, leased or rented to or occupied by, or in any other way used by, any person or persons not of the Caucasian Race, nor shall any such excluded person live in any main building or subsidiary building or any such lot; provided, however, that this restriction shall not be applicable to domestic servants in the employ of the owner or occupant then living in such building. In the event of a breach of this restriction … the title of such lot shall immediately revert to the Company, its successors or assigns and the Company, its successes or assigns may thereupon re-enter and take possession of the lot, with all improvements thereon.”
  • St. Louis Hills, St. Louis
  • House built: 1942
  • Restriction placed: 1949
“(15) That neither said lots nor portions thereof or interest therein shall ever be leased, sold, devised, conveyed to or inherited or be otherwise acquired by or become property of any person other than of the Caucasian Race.
“(16) That neither said lot nor any portion thereof shall ever be lived upon or occupied by any person other than of the Caucasian strictly in the capacity of servants or employees actually engaged in the service of such occupant, or in the care of said premises for such occupant, such circumstances shall not constitute a violation of this condition.”
  • El Cerrito, San Diego
  • House built: 1950-1951
  • Restriction placed: 1950