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Reading About Race and Architecture

A stack of books on race and architecture; full list is in text below the image

As part of Docomomo DC's commitment to ending racial injustice, we are listening to Black voices in architecture, and attempting to learn the lessons these voices have been sharing. Architecture and preservation—including what gets built, where it is built, what is preserved or demolished, and by whom—can be active and passive tools in perpetuating cycles of inequality, and we are doing our best to understand, recognize, and work towards eliminating these imbalances.

To that end, we present several titles we'll be reading and reviewing over the coming weeks. Please support Black voices, find your own copies, and follow along.


Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present Edited By Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020

The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race Adrienne Brown Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019

Dark Space: Architecture, Representation, Black Identity Mario Gooden Columbia University Press, 2016

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein

Liveright, 2017

The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on Race, Space, Architecture, and Music

Craig L. Wilkins

University of Minnesota Press, 2017

Black Built: History and Architecture in the Black Community

Paul Wellington

Self-published, 2019


Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City Brandi Thompson Summers University of North Carolina Press, 2019

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove University of North Carolina Press, 2019

Historic Capital: Preservation, Race, and Real Estate in Washington, D.C. Cameron Logan

University of Minnesota Press, 2017




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