The traditional model explaining racial discrimination has blamed discrimination by institutional actors in the housing industry and government. The author argues that this model ignores the individual preference factors that contribute to segregation. The replication of segregation in expanding suburban jurisdictions of metropolitan areas and the traditional legal responses are examined, as well as the implications of African American suburban migration. The author questions the adequacy of the traditional model by looking at the individual preference factors of both whites and African Americans that contribute to the replication of segregation in suburbs. The author notes that there is no method to compare the relative weight of institutional discrimination against individual preference factors, and that law and policy must address this to achieve greater racial integration. Finally, the author examines implications of the individual preference factors. The article calls for legislation to affirmatively attract African Americans to particular suburban regions. The author concludes that out of the primary methods of attack against racial discrimination, the fair share approach, as enumerated in New Jersey's Mount Laurel decision, is the best for overcoming individual preference factors. Fair share approaches would be more successful if they focused less on low-income housing and more on the construction of apartment units in suburban areas.
An Individual Approach to Suburban Racial Discrimination,
27 Fordham Urb. L.J. 533
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol27/iss2/10