Cover: The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, from Harvard University PressCover: The Color of Money in HARDCOVER

The Color of Money

Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674970953

Publication: September 2017

Trade

384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Belknap Press

World

Baradaran…provides a deep accounting of how America got to a point where a median white family has 13 times more wealth than the median black family.—Gillian B. White, The Atlantic

Combining a rich historical sweep with in-depth analysis of the mechanics of banking, Baradaran unpacks the brutal dilemma facing black banks—how to create black wealth in the context of a segregated and unequal ‘Jim Crow’ economy. Baradaran’s brilliant and devastating analysis leads to an irrefutable conclusion: the racial wealth gap is the product of state law and public policy, and will only be reversed when the same governmental tools that created segregation and discrimination are deployed to end it.—Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: How the Struggle over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America

Observers as different in time and ideology as Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and Ronald Reagan have argued that black banks represent perhaps the best hope for securing a just society. As Baradaran powerfully maintains, however, any effort to restrict responsibility to banks alone or black people alone will always be doomed to failure. A swift, beautiful, and chastening book, The Color of Money reminds us, yet again, that black poverty is not really an economic problem, but rather a political problem requiring political solutions.—N. D. B. Connolly, author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida

Baradaran provides a pivotal understanding of how our racialized history structured the disparity between the black and white share of the nation’s wealth and how it continues to inhibit the development of black capital and black banks. Her book puts to rest, once and for all, the trope that self-help, buying black, and black banking are the panacea to black prosperity.—Darrick Hamilton, The New School for Social Research

In this important book, law professor Mehrsa Baradaran uses the history of black banking from emancipation to the present as a vehicle for exploring the origins and persistence of the racial wealth gap in America. This is more than a history of financial institutions, though. It is a probing, revelatory study of racism and capitalism in the making of modern America, one that reveals how segregation, racial prejudice, and black economic disadvantage became mutually reinforcing.—Andrew W. Kahrl, University of Virginia