Look into One Family’s History Illuminates Haverford’s, Main Line’s Legacy of Racial Exclusion

racial exclusion
Image via Jessica Griffin, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Angel Goins poses with her grandmother Roxanna Wright and her mother Carla Garrison in front of Wright’s Ardmore home.

Toney Goins’s family has lived in Haverford Township for five generations, being one of the rare Black families to find their home in the predominantly white town with only three percent of the population Black, writes Zoe Greenberg for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

When he bought a house in Haverford, Goins’ great-great-grandfather Earlie Jenkins, who worked as a cook at The Haverford School, became a part of a thriving but small middle-class Black community that still exists.

However, a look at the family history illuminates the complicated legacy of racial exclusion and shows the ill effects of racial restrictions placed on homeownership.

This includes a 200-lot whites-only subdivision built by Ardmore developer Frank H. Mahan that is situated directly across from the street where Jenkins purchased his home.

“The said premises shall not be sold to, owned, used, or occupied by any person or persons other than those of the Caucasian race,” read the deeds for the homes from the mid-1920s.

It took Goins nearly two decades to be allowed an opportunity to buy a home on Aubrey Avenue, which was by then becoming a racially mixed block in a predominantly white town.

Read more about the issue in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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