This presentation explores segregation and racialized zoning and planning laws in Arlington to see how these policies impacted the county’s suburban growth from the 1900s to the 1970s. Our speaker will start at the turn of the last century when Arlington’s suburban boom first began and lay out the race-based policies of early boosters, restrictive covenants, planning laws. She’ll also discuss how Arlington’s communities, black and white, grew together and in opposition.

Dr. Lindsey Bestebreurtje is a historian of African-American community development and the built environment in the 19th and 20th century American South. She holds a PhD in History and a Masters in Museum Studies from George Mason University, and a BA in History from the College of William and Mary. For the last decade she has worked as a historian for numerous institutions, including the Historic American Landscape Survey, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and the National Park Service. Since 2015, she has worked as a Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This was one of the AHS monthly series of free public events focusing on an aspect of local history. it took place on October 8, 2020. This video runs for an hour and 11 minutes and includes Dr. Bestebreurtje’s presentation as well as questions from attendees.