In the recent guest perspective “Do we echo the past?” by Karyl Elridge, it was noted that the CC&Rs for many of our local neighborhoods had restricted ownership of homes to whites. But racially-restrictive covenants were even more far-reaching. The CC&Rs from the Sunnybrae neighborhood reveal the full extent of the exclusion that was typical of the time, stating: “No lot nor improved property described in these restrictions can be leased, rented, or conveyed, used, or occupied by any person, or persons, other than those of the Caucasian or White Race, except that persons not of the Caucasian Race, may be kept thereon by Caucasian occupants strictly in the capacity of domestic servants.”
Efforts to exclude Blacks on the Peninsula, as elsewhere in this country, were both aggressive and mean, and they took the form of both public and private action. This history is essential background if we are to grasp the breadth and depth of injustice Black Americans have experienced, reckon with the many ways in which those injustices continue, and take real steps toward becoming a community that is truly inclusive.