The United States of Anxiety
A Secret Meeting in South Bend
Feb 27, 2020 · 44 min
Play episode

Mike Jackson, like many descendants of the Great Migration, has a family home that was built from protest, resilience and ingenuity. In the spring of 1950, his parents met in secret with 25 other families to create Better Homes of South Bend. Their efforts would later become a collection of homes on the 1700 and 1800 blocks of N. Elmer St. But today, the value of those houses doesn’t match the work it took to put them there. This week: what these family stories of housing in the “heartland” say about inequity in home ownership today.

Gabrielle Robinson is the author of Better Homes of South Bend: An American Story of Courage. Robinson is currently working with a Washington D.C. based playwright to adapt the Better Homes story into a play. 

- Andre Perry is a Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and the author of The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods and the forthcoming book Know Your Price. 

- The full interview with Leroy and Margaret Cobb, as well as other interviews about South Bend life during the time Better Homes organizing, can be heard through the Oral History Collection of the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center

Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Jenny Casas.

The United States of Anxiety’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at

CORRECTION: In this episode, we say that Andre Perry's study was published "last year." It actually came out in November 2018.

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu