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    Eric Avila in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Interstate highways were touted as modern marvels. Racial injustice was part of the plan.”


    “Blight was a code word used to identify Black, working-class communities,” said Eric Avila, a UCLA historian and author of The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 promised 41,000 miles of asphalt. And when it became time to finalize route plans, Avila said, “race strongly influenced routing decisions.”