Many residents of Columbus signed deeds and contracts like these, commonly referred to as restrictive covenants. These were designed to keep blacks from moving into predominantly white neighborhoods.
The legality of these restrictive covenants was decided in 1948 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the the case of Shelley v. Kramer. The Court held that racially-based restrictive covenants are, on their face, valid under the Fourteenth Amendment. Private parties may voluntarily abide by the terms of a restrictive covenant but may not seek judicial enforcement of such a covenant because enforcement by the courts would constitute state action. Since such state action would necessarily be discriminatory, the enforcement of a racially-based restrictive covenant in a state court would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The court rejected an argument that since state courts would enforce a restrictive covenant against white persons, judicial enforcement of restrictive covenants would not be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed individual rights, and equal protection of the law is not achieved with the imposition of inequalities.
Amazingly, it seems that this contract and deed did work to keep African-Americans from owning property in Woodland Park, at least up until the Supreme Court's decision.
Eugene and Barbara Litzinger signed this covenant in June 1927 when they bought Sam Snider's house at 1580 Granville Street.
The beginning of the deed is typical, outlining the property and the ownership, and then goes on...
WHEREAS, colored people have been considering Granville Street between Taylor Avenue and Woodland Avenue with a view to purchasing property thereon;