Learn More about Property Deed Discrimination at the “Racial Covenants Hackathon” on October 24!

Delano, J., photographer. (1940) Street in Negro quarter of Durham, North Carolina
. Durham Durham County Durham. North Carolina United States, 1940. May. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2017790940/

The North Carolina Central University School of Information and Library Science (SLIS) is working with the Durham County Register of Deeds and DataWorks, a nonprofit data intermediary, to educate the public about the presence of racially restrictive land-use practices in the city’s historic property deeds. The Hacking into History project was selected last spring to receive grant funding as a participant in the Civic Switchboard: Connecting Libraries and Community Information Networks program. This project builds on the previous work by Mel Norton and the Bull City 150 Project, which laid the foundation and raised awareness of the presence of these clauses in Durham County property deeds.

The project team is currently organizing a virtual “Racial Covenants Hackathon,” to be held on Saturday, October 24th from 10am to 2pm. The online event will be equal parts public education and volunteer transcription, with a virtual training and support component.

Participants will use Zooniverse, an online platform to review and transcribe deeds to confirm the presence of racial covenant clauses. The focus is the period between 1890 and the 1940s, when many property deeds in Durham included ownership restrictions based on race. A second session is planned for a later date. Similar collaborations are happening across the country in cities like Minneapolis, Hartford, and Seattle.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reckoning-with-racial-covenants-in-durham-tickets-124310850099

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