“Blockbusting” is the name of the mid-1900’s practice where real-estate agents and speculators would trigger the turnover of white-owned property and homes to African Americans. Often called, “panic peddling,” it frequently resulted in more black families migrating to neighborhoods that were previously denied to them, and included urging white homeowners in nearby areas to sell before it was “too late” and their property values diminished. Real-estate agents often hired black subagents and other individuals to walk and drive through the areas soliciting business, and engaging in other activities that would provoke “white fear.”
Soon enough, nervous white occupants were almost giving away their homes to real-estate agents. Agents then sold those homes to African Americans who faced limited choices and inflated prices in other markets. Even though block-busting provided better and cheaper homes to African Americans of the time, it did so with substantial profits for the real-estate agents.