When Clyde Ross, Mattie Lewis, and Ethel Weatherspoon settled in the West-side neighborhood of North Lawndale, they hoped to achieve the American dream of owning a home. At the time, however, federal policies known as redlining prevented blacks from getting real mortgages, forcing them to buy from real-estate speculators "on contract." The contracts, homeowners soon discovered, turned out to be a scam. In this short documentary, Ross, Lewis, Weatherspoon, and a community organizer named Jack Macnamara recount the story of how they formed the Contract Buyers League and fought back.

For more on the impact of housing discrimination in Chicago, read Ta-Nehisi Coates's Atlantic cover story, "The Case for Reparations": theatlantic.com/reparations

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