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Books

American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
Douglas Massey and Nancy A, Denton, Harvard University Press, 1993.

Shows how the black ghetto was created by whites during the first half of the twentieth century in order to isolate growing urban black populations. It goes on to show that, despite the Fair Housing Act of 1968, segregation is perpetuated today through an interlocking set of individual actions, institutional practices, and governmental policies.

 

The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide
Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, New Press, 2006.

An important book examining the centuries of history of people of color having been barred by laws and by discrimination from participating in government wealth-building programs that benefit white Americans.

 

The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality
Thomas M. Shapiro, Oxford University Press, 2005.

Fundamental levels of racial inequality persist, particularly in the area of asset accumulation. Shapiro reveals how the lack of these family assets along with continuing racial discrimination in crucial areas like homeownership dramatically impact the everyday lives of many black families, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

 

Privileged Places: Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity
Gregory D. Squires and Charis E. Kubrin, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006.

Squires and Kubrin explore how inequities resulting from the intersection of race and place, coupled with the effects of public policy, permeate and shape structures of opportunity in the United States.

 

The Rage of a Privileged Class: Why Are Middle-Class Blacks Angry? Why Should America Care?

Ellis Cose, Harper Collins, 1993

When Jobs Disappear: The World of the New Urban Poor
William Julius Wilson, Vintage, 1997.
Sociologist Wilson examines the nature of the new economy and its impact on people of color. Good profile of the sys- temic nature of racism in the U.S.

 

The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide

Thomas Shapiro, Tarjana Meschede, Sam Osoro, Institute on Assets & Social Policy, Brandeis University,  2013

“The authors’ “analysis found little evidence to support common perceptions about what underlies the ability to build wealth, including the notion that personal attributes and behavioral choices are key pieces of the equation. Instead, the evidence points to policy and the configuration of both opportunities and barriers in workplaces, schools, and communities that reinforce deeply entrenched racial dynamics in how wealth is accumulated and that continue to permeate the most important spheres of everyday life. ”

 

Articles

 

“Breaking the Bank / (Re)Making the Bank: America’s Financial Crisis and the Implications for Sustainable Advocacy for Fair Credit and Fair Banking,”
Manuel Pastor, Rhonda Ortiz, and Vanessa Carter, Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, (n.d.)

Considers the future of fair credit and fair housing in the wake of the devastating subprime lending and foreclosure crisis.

 

“Doubly Divided: The Racial Wealth Gap,” Meihzu Lui, (n.d.).

African Americans and other minorities hold far less wealth than whites. But why should the wealth gap be so large, greater even than the racial income gap? It turns out that government has played a central role. Throughout U.S.history, countless specific laws, policies, rules, and court decisions have made it more difficult for nonwhites to build wealth, and transferred wealth they did own to whites.

 

Websites

 

Racial Equity Economic Security  In May 2008, the Community Action Partnership received a grant from the Ford Foundation to undertake a two-year project on Racial Equity and Economic Security.  This project examined whether place-based strategies to reduce poverty and enhance economic security are more effective when they take the racial inequalities that are a result of structural racism into account in their program design.

 

Community Action Partnership serves a network of over 1000 community action agencies across the U.S. in a fight to eliminate poverty.

 

United for A Fair Economy raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. We support and help build social movements for greater equality.

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