Racism in the United States has created an enduring wealth gap between Black and White Americans. This gap is rooted both in slavery itself and in the systematic exclusion of Black people from government assistance and social safety programs beginning after the Civil War and continuing through the Jim Crow era and after. Although it’s not easy to capture the magnitude of this injustice, paying reparations to Black Americans is one way to begin to correct it. This week on EconoFact Chats, Professor William (Sandy) Darity Jr. explains the history of the racial wealth gap and why reparations remain necessary today.
Sandy Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. His most recent book, coauthored with A. Kirsten Mullen, is From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century.