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A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago

Redlined exposes the racist mortgage laws that ravage a Chicago community in the 1960s, told through the story of one white family navigating the uncharted shoals of its neighborhood’s racial change. Based on long-hidden letters and diaries, this vivid memoir cracks open and lays bare complicated truths of marriage, sexual freedom, and race relations in a devastated landscape. Learn More


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Why Redlined is an important read in today’s world

The racist mortgage practice of “redlining” denied blacks the ability to invest in property, thereby making it impossible to pass down accumulated wealth over the generations, as white families could. The result: today African Americans have about 6-7% the wealth of white families. Redlining also created a segregated America and the concentration of poverty and violence.

The era we live in demands that we all learn about the many insidious ways in which the odds have been repeatedly, and purposely, stacked against African Americans, and what that means for all Americans.

Redlined is the story of my parents, Fred and Lil, who staked their future on a two-flat on Chicago’s West Side, unaware of the racist lending laws that would ultimately undermine the housing dreams of both blacks and whites. We follow Fred and Lil into unknown territory as they struggle to raise a family and cope with death, madness, loneliness, and the volatile uprisings of the 1960s.


Linda Gartz is a six-time Emmy-award-honored television producer, blogger, essay writer, and author of the memoir, Redlined. 

Redlined was inspired by the trove of long-hidden family diaries, letters, photos, documents, (and so much more), which she discovered in her parents’ attic after their deaths. Once she began reading, she was instantly gripped by the power of her family’s words to take her into the minds and hearts of each family member. Every new detail she learned fueled her quest to discover what forces had undermined her parents’ marriage and fractured her community. The result is Redlined.

Meet Linda


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