Many have been confused by race, wealth, and the ways the two intertwine for some time now.
For a generation, we have incorrectly seen black wealth through the lens of Oprah Winfrey, the Cosby Show, and the NBA. Yet, none of these visuals tell any part of the truth of the gaping difference between black and white wealth in America.
The truth is, by the data, there are very few black families that are even single millionaires in America, while well over 8.5 million white families are above this million-dollar threshold. In fact a mere few hundred of the top white American families are worth more than all of Black America combined, and even further, using the most generous of accounting without depreciating assets, Bill Gates alone is worth nearly 8 times as much as the bottom half of Black America combined.
But this isn’t isolated to the super rich; according to Demos.org, the top 50 percent of white families have 88 percent of all of America’s personal wealth in their bank accounts. While even when including billionaire Orpah Winfrey, all of Black America controls a mere 2.6 percent of America’s personal wealth.
This difference stems largely from the historical advantages built into whiteness, and the severe historical economic cost of blackness. Many of these advantages were covered in the Demos and IASP report titled "The Asset Value of Whiteness." The table of contents of the report lays to waste many of the myths that distort racial causation for wealth differences:
- Attending college does not close the racial wealth gap.
- Raising children in a two-parent household does not close the racial wealth gap.
- Working full time does not close the racial wealth gap.
- Spending less does not close the racial wealth gap.
To learn more, watch the animated video above, "Black Wealth and White Wealth Explained in less than 2 minutes," and subscribe at Tonetalks.
Antonio Moore, an attorney based in Los Angeles, is one of the producers of the Emmy-nominated documentary "Freeway: Crack in the System." He has contributed pieces to the Grio, The Huffington Post, and Inequality.org on the topics of race, mass incarceration, and economics. Follow him on YouTube Channel Tonetalks. For more of his reports, Click Here Now.
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