Robert C. Weaver Research Paper

This sample Robert C. Weaver Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need help writing your assignment, please use our research paper writing service and buy a paper on any topic at affordable price. Also check our tips on how to write a research paper, see the lists of research paper topics, and browse research paper examples.

Robert Clifton Weaver’s career as economist and presidential advisor spanned the New Deal to the War on Poverty. He produced two major treatises on the economic status of African Americans, Negro Labor (1946) and The Negro Ghetto (1948), and an influential textbook in urban planning and policy, The Urban Complex (1964). Weaver was the first U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position.

Born in Washington, D.C., on December 29, 1907, Weaver earned his doctorate in economics in 1934 from Harvard University. From 1933 through 1944, he held a sequence of advisory positions in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, including Advisor on Negro Affairs to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes (1934-1938) and chief, Negro Manpower Service, War Manpower Commission (1942-1944). From 1961 to 1966, under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, he was Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Administration. President Johnson appointed Weaver the first secretary of HUD in 1966, a post he held until 1968.

Although most of his career was spent in government, Weaver was a consistent critic of government’s failure to end—and occasional duplicity in—the subjugation and segregation of the black population. In Negro Labor, Weaver detailed the participation of government agencies and trade unions in the exclusion of black workers from defense industry jobs. In The Negro Ghetto, Weaver explained how the Federal Housing Authority’s (FHA’s) lending practices reinforced local efforts to exclude African Americans from moving into white communities. Weaver argued that segregation would result in deteriorating housing quality and, eventually, to anger, the degradation of social relationships, and increased violence. In essence, he predicted the urban uprisings of the 1960s in 1948.

Walter B. Hill, in “Finding Place for the Negro: Robert C. Weaver and the Groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement” (2005), and Charles and Dona Hamilton, in “Social Policies, Civil Rights and Poverty” (1986), credit Weaver with the creation of a forerunner of modern affirmative action—the minimum percentage clause. This clause, which was inserted into Public Works Administration contracts for low-cost housing, prohibited discrimination on the basis of race or religion and identified, as prima facie evidence of discrimination, a contractor’s failure to hire a minimum percentage of black workers, based on the number of skilled black craftsmen in the locality.

Weaver outlined his vision of how to revitalize these urban centers in The Urban Complex and in Dilemmas of Urban America (1965). Weaver sought to revitalize urban centers through comprehensive, regional planning. Despite the black community’s perception that urban renewal meant “Negro removal,” Weaver remained an advocate of the use of eminent domain, government subsidies, and tax incentives to replace deteriorating, low-cost housing in urban centers. Weaver believed urban renewal projects created the opportunity to replace segregated ghettos with integrated communities. Later, in a 1985 article, “The First Twenty Years of HUD,” Weaver acknowledged the difficulty of realizing this vision.

Following his tenure at HUD, Weaver served as president of Baruch College, City University of New York, and as a Distinguished Professor of Urban Affairs at Hunter College. He died in July 17, 1997, at the age of eighty-nine. In 1999, Congress renamed the HUD headquarters in his honor.


  1. Hamilton, Charles V., and Dona C. Hamilton. 1986. Social Policies, Civil Rights and Poverty. In Fighting Poverty: What Works and What Doesn’t, eds. Sheldon H. Danziger and Daniel H. Weinberg. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  2. Hill, Walter B., Jr. 2005. Finding Place for the Negro: Robert C.Weaver and the Groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement.Prologue 37 (1): 42–51.
  4. Weaver, Robert C. 1946. Negro Labor: A National Problem. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1969.
  5. Weaver, Robert C. 1948. The Negro Ghetto. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
  6. Weaver, Robert C. 1964. The Urban Complex: Human Values in Urban Life. New York: Doubleday.
  7. Weaver, Robert C. 1965. Dilemmas of Urban America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  8. Weaver, Robert C. 1985. The First Twenty Years of HUD. The Journal of the American Planning Association 51 (Autumn):463–474.

See also:

Free research papers are not written to satisfy your specific instructions. You can use our professional writing services to buy a custom research paper on any topic and get your high quality paper at affordable price.


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality
Special offer! Get discount 10% for the first order. Promo code: cd1a428655