African Americans have suffered intensely at the hands of America's dominant group, but the roles played by urban planning, land use policy, and the free market are not well known. Presenting a new conceptual approach, this book considers their locking effect on African Americans, showing, for instance, that one-acre zoning and similar policies in upscale neighborhoods lock African Americans out while market mechanisms in decaying neighborhoods lock them in. Arguing that the locking effect leads to the disenfranchisement of African Americans, Bobo shows how wealth is channeled to the dominant group and African Americans' life choices are denuded, creating a volatile situation. Although classical economic theory holds that a free market allocates scarce resources in the best interest of society, in reality market mechanisms do not work to the advantage of African Americans. Nor does public regulation of land use operate in their interest, although public policy is presumed to produce equitable and favorable outcomes for all members of society. This book explores how a combination of government regulation of land use and free market forces have created the locking effect, which has cultivated and sustained a process of disenfranchisement of African Americans.