Original Author: Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority
“Blighted” Property in Roanoke
This photograph of a street in Roanoke was taken by the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority in 1966. The neighborhood was under consideration for urban renewal. Much of what city planners and property developers described as “slums” or “blighted” neighborhoods were places occupied by Black families with long histories and strong community attachments to the area. People who were forced to leave their homes often felt betrayed when their neighborhoods were not improved but simply destroyed.