The Fight for Economic Equality for Black America | Part 2
People of color have yet to fully grasp the fact of formerly being an asset (enslaved) to asset ownership. African Americans were literally viewed as stock and were taken and sold at slave auctions. They were sold for an amount based on what kind of wealth they could bring to their owners. Although we have taken steps forward, this is still a deeply rooted problem of capitalism. The reality of capitalism is that America earns significant profits from Black culture from entertainment, sports, music to film.
Black people are influential creators but are lacking in the aspect of ownership. For instance, when you look at major sports leagues such as the NFL, 70 percent of the league is African American, yet there are only two minority owners out of 32. Nearly 81 percent of the players of the NBA are African American, yet Michael Jordan is the only black owner. This is true for many industries across the board. There are simply not enough African Americans in ownership or leadership positions to make those hiring and firing decisions.
“We must face the system head-on, and make strides to change it so that we can close the economic inequality gap and defeat capitalism.”
Homeownership is a building block to wealth, yet, African Americans have more difficulties obtaining homeownership than whites. Before the passing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, landlords could refuse to rent to people of color; banks could deny mortgage loans to African Americans who were creditworthy borrowers, and real estate agents could refuse to sell or show homes to African American homebuyers. There is more than a 30 percent gap between African American and white homeowners, which is higher than before 1968 when housing discrimination based on race, sex, or religion was legal. Despite the passing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, residential segregation increased after the 1970s, which pushed many blacks into poverty-stricken areas that lacked resources and opportunities.
It hurts me to know that we are still fighting for the same things our grandparents and their parents fought for. However, we must keep fighting the good fight. We must continue to educate ourselves, then pass that information on to our brothers and sisters. We must continue to fight for what is right, and even if it doesn’t directly affect us, we must speak up. We must face the system head-on, and make strides to change it so that we can close the economic inequality gap and defeat capitalism.
The Fight for Economic Equality for Black America is a two part series. To read part I of The Fight for Economic Equality for Black America, click here.
Main Image/Thumbnail | Editorial credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg