Redlining works to keep African Americans from owning their own homes by making it harder for them to get loans to buy those homes.
The vast majority of Americans who buy their own homes must borrow money to do so. They typically take out mortgages from banks or other lenders. With redlining, this becomes harder. Redlining occurs when banks refuse to lend to people who would otherwise be creditworthy but who want to buy homes in areas (usually with predominantly non-white populations) that are supposedly risky. When this happens, African Americans have a harder time getting the loans they need to buy their own homes.