The Lines Between Us

Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide

A masterful narrative—with echoes of Evicted and The Color of Law—that brings to life the structures, policies, and beliefs that divide us

“I come from a country that is now utterly schizophrenic when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas.” —David Simon, creator of The Wire

Deeply reported and deftly told, The Lines Between Us, a riveting story from DuPont Award–winning journalist Lawrence Lanahan, compels reflection on America’s entrenched inequality—and on where the rubber meets the road not in the abstract, but in our own backyards.

The criss-crossing stories of Mark, a white devout Christian who sells his suburban home to move to Baltimore’s inner city, and Nicole, a black mother determined to leave West Baltimore for the suburbs, chronicle how the region became so deeply segregated and why these fault lines persist today. Mark and Nicole personify the enormous disparities in access to safe housing, educational opportunities, and decent jobs. As these characters pack up their lives and change places, Lanahan examines what it will take to save our cities and communities: Do we put money into poor, segregated neighborhoods? Move families out into areas with more opportunity?

This eye-opening account of how a city creates its black, white, rich, and poor spaces suggests these problems are not intractable, but they are destined to persist until each of us—despite living in separate worlds—understands we have something at stake.