Family Ties

Season 7 Episode 17

All in the Neighborhood (1)

Aired Unknown Mar 12, 1989 on NBC

Episode Recap

During dinner with Steven's colleague Gus Thompson and his wife Maya, the Keatons learn that the couple is having trouble finding a house to buy. When Elyse informs them that the house across the street is up for sale, Gus and Maya (who are black) gently raise the subject of race. Although Steven admits that there are no black families in the neighborhood, he believes race to be a non-issue.

The Keatons face a rude awakening, however, when they accompany the Thompsons on a tour of the house. The realtor, Christine Chadway, is barely able to conceal her shock when she realizes that the Thompsons are black. Completely reversing the sales pitch she had earlier given the Keatons, Christine is sternly reminded by Gus that housing discrimination is illegal and she must present his full-price offer to her clients.

To Steven and Elyse's dismay, the Thompsons begin receiving anonymous threats as soon as they move in. Gus' worried son Michael implores his parents to move despite Gus' determination to stand up in the face of bigotry. Alarmed, Steven organizes a neighbor-hood meeting, and as the residents begin to express concern over the possibility of declining property values, Maya voices her own doubts about remaining in her new home.
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