ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The Brandeis study, conducted by the universitys Institute on Assets and Social Policy, showed
that upper income Blacks fell even farther behind their white peers than lower income Blacks.
During the survey period, higher income Blacks saw their wealth drop from $25,000 to
just $18,000, while their white counterparts wealth soared to $240,000.
Study Shows Blacks Will Never Gain Wealth
Parity With Whites Under the Current System
By Glen Ford
The gap between Black and white household wealth quadrupled from 1984 to 2007, totally discrediting the conventional wisdom that the U.S. is slowly and fitfully moving towards racial equality, or some rough economic parity between the races. Like most American myths, its the direct opposite of the truth. When measured over decades, Blacks are being propelled economically downward relative to whites at quickening speed, according to a new study by Brandeis University.
The gap between Black and white households ballooned during the 23-year study period, as white families went from a median of about $22,000 in wealth to $100,000 a gain of $95,000. In the same period, Black household wealth inched up from a base of $2,000 per family to only $5,000. The sweat and toil of an entire generation had netted Black families only $3,000 additional dollars, while white families amassed 100 grand that can be used to send a couple of kids to college, make investments, help out other family members, or contribute to the larger (white) community. The typical Black family has no such options.
Viewed another way, the median white family was 11 times richer than the median Black family in 1984 ($2,000 vs. $22,000). By 2007, the white household had become 20 times richer than its Black counterpart ($5,000 vs. $100,000).
Any way one measures it, the numbers show African Americans are tumbling out of the nations economic orbit, wealth-wise, on a trajectory that can never achieve parity with whites. I repeat: never.
On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama flippantly declared that African Americans had already come 90 percent of the way to equality, with only 10 percent more to go. Whatever the future president was thinking, it wasnt economics. The meter of progress is running backwards on Black America, toward greater inequality and relative poverty. Everything else youve heard is propaganda.
The Brandeis study, conducted by the universitys Institute on Assets and Social Policy, showed that upper income Blacks fell even farther behind their white peers than lower income Blacks. During the survey period, higher income Blacks saw their wealth drop from $25,000 to just $18,000, while their white counterparts wealth soared to $240,000.
Black folks have been integrated long enough to know that the white family didnt get richer by a quarter million dollars because they were smarter than the Black family. Privilege, especially cumulative privilege over generations, works wonders, like compound interest only better. Whites are both collectively privileged and capable of bestowing an endless stream of privileges on each other, while Blacks are deliberately positioned outside of the stream, and are preyed upon as a group by powerful (white) financial forces that profit from the wealth differential.
The Brandies report recognizes the powerful role of persistent discrimination in housing, credit and labor marketsthat is, the institutionally racist crimes of finance capital. Had the survey continued past 2007, the carnage of the Great Recession would have revealed even more dramatically the incredibly shrinking nature of Black wealth in the current era.
Enemies of all colors and sly servants of the rich will use the news of the evaporation of African American wealth to heap blame on Black culture. This shaming strategy is designed to keep Blacks looking inward for the source of their woes, and to simultaneously despair of finding salvation in our own capacity for group agency. Meanwhile, the Lords of Capital devour us like piranhasquicker than they do whites, who are padded with the fat of relative privilege$95,000 worth of it, the racial wealth spread of 23 years.
Although Black parity with whites has never been on the horizon, impatient whites have insisted since 1969 or thereabouts that its time African Americans were made to stand or fall on their own, minus all the imagined assistance Blacks have supposedly received from phantom federal and state agencies. After all, say the anxious whites, how long is society (meaning themselves) supposed to pay for the slavery and segregation of the past? Most white folksand President Obamabelieve, or pretend to believe, that whatever legitimate grievances Blacks might harbor against the United States stem from circumstances deep in the past. The only question is, when will Blacks finally get over it?
The Brandies study shows that the racial wealth gap, although historically rooted in slavery and Jim Crow oppressions, has grown dramatically under post-civil rights era conditions. The gap is not simply a legacy of some ancient American apartheid, but a product of the recent past and of the present. This is a different paradigm, entirely, in which past racial wrongs are compounded by additional layers of institutionalized anti-Black behavior in the 1980s, 90s and in the 21st centurywounds so harmful they set African Americans on a backward course in terms of wealth accumulation.
In 2004, United for a Fair Economy came out with the first of its annual State of the Dream reports. Readers were shocked out of complacency by data that showed Blacks would not reach wealth parity with whites until the year 2099. It was surely a bummer to realize that no one then alive would see the promised land of evenly matched Black and white median household wealth. But at least the study indicated that we, as a people would eventually get there, as someone famous once predicted. There are no such condolences in the Brandies data. At the rate Blacks have been falling behind in wealth since the mid-80s, the Black and white median paths will diverge ever farther, never to connect under this system of economic and political rule. Blacks cannot shop or invest or save or borrow our way to a just society. Social justice and true human equality can only be achieved through our collective political action in opposition to the current order by any means necessary, as another famous man once urged.
Source: Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford is a veteran journalist, executive editor of blackagendareport.com. In the late 70s, he launched Americas Black Forum, a national black news TV program, and in 87 he launched the first nationally syndicated hip-hop music show called Rap It Up. He also co-founded the weekly political journal Black Commentator in 2002. Glen Ford has been a critic of Barack Obama. Glen Ford gave very positive coverage of Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate for President. Glenn Ford confessed that it was easy for even himself to get caught up in the kind of Mecca for African Americans that was this day of Inauguration for a black president Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
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Study finds median wealth for single black women at $59 March 2010by Tim GrantAmong the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5. . . . Researchers at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, based in Oakland, Calif., analyzed data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, a voluminous report the Federal Reserve Board issues every three years that examines household finances in this country. Wealth, or net worth, measures the total of one’s assets — cash in the bank, stocks, bonds and real estate; minus debtshome mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student loans. The most recent financial data was collected before the economic downturn, so the current numbers likely are worse now than at the time of the study. Black women, in general, were more likely to have participated in the subprime loan crisis with upper-income black women being five times more likely to have received a high-cost mortgage than upper-income white men. . . . For all working-age black women 18 to 64, the financial picture is bleak. Their median household wealth is only $100. Hispanic women in that age group have a median wealth of $120.
“That means half of [black women] have a net worth of more than $100 and half have a net worth of less than $100,” Ms. Lui said. “So that gives you an idea of how far in debt some women of color are.” Married or cohabitating white women have a median wealth of $167,500. Married or cohabitating black women have a median net worth of $31,500. . . . According to a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania, more than four out of 10 families headed by single mothers in Pittsburgh and more than one in three in Pennsylvania, live in poverty.
In Pittsburgh and across the country, the financial burdens of single parenthood fall mostly on women, but black women are more likely to endure the work and responsibility of raising children on their own. They are more likely to be the backbone of their families and communities, with greater responsibilities to support struggling friends and families.
In a 2008 study of black women and their money, the ING Foundation found that black womenwho frequently manage the assets of their householdsfinancially support friends, family and their houses of worship to a much greater degree than the general population.
They also are more likely to be employed in jobs and industriessuch as service occupationswith lower pay and less access to health insurance. And when their working days are done, they rely most heavily on Social Security because they are less likely to have personal savings, retirement accounts or company pensions. Their Social Security benefits are likely to be lower, too, because of their low earnings. . . .
Rather than strictly comparing income, researchers in the Insight study looked at the wealth gap. The current economic crisis has shown that a person’s wealth affects not only retirement security, but also a person’s ability to handle financial setbacks such as a job loss or a health emergency. High unemployment and high incarceration rates for black men also lower the likelihood of single black women finding a partner to help build a more secure financial future.
Ms. Lui said the Insight report would be used to encourage the government to close the wealth gap and improve the outlook for women of color, just as it did for Americans who received land through the Homestead Act, and education through the GI bill. . . .”Our government knows how to build wealth for people. They’ve done it for others and they can do it for all of us. They need to focus some attention on women of color. Look at the situation and see what we need.”
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Obama and Black America Unconditional, unrequited love?By Kevin Alexander Gray2 September 2011For all Americans, the average life expectancy is 78 years and two months according to the Centers for Disease Control. But for black Americans life expectancy is 74 years and three monthsfor black women its 76.8 years, and black men 70.2 years. If Commission members had their way the retirement age for full benefits would be raised to 69 from 67 by 2075. Obviously, black males would be the biggest losers in such a setup, literally working till death. At the moment, one in five blacks has no health insurance, compared to 12 percent of whites. And insurance companies routinely reject covering former inmates with the claim that they come from an at-risk population. One in seven African Americans is out of workthe highest in nearly a quarter century. More than two out of ten African Americansand three out of ten black children live in poverty. For every dollar of wealth owned by the typical white family, the typical family of color owns only sixteen cents, according to a study published last March by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development entitled Lifting As We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and Americas Future. Nearly half of all single black and Hispanic women have zero or negative wealth, meaning their debts exceed all their assets. The median wealth for single black women is only $100, for single Hispanic women, $120. This compares to just over $41,000 for single white women. About a third of single Hispanic women and one-fourth of single black women have no checking or savings account. Overall, blacks continue to earn far less than whites. The median annual income for a black household in 2009, the most recent year statistics were available, was $33,463 while for whites it was $54,671.TheNewLiberator
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By Glen Ford
As far as the United States and Europe are concerned, Africans have nothing to say about what happens in Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma made a second trip to Libya this week, on behalf of the African Union, seeking a diplomatic end to NATOs war against Mouammar Gaddafis government. Just as with a previous African Union peace keeping mission, back in early April, Col. Gaddafi agreed to the peace plan. And just as before, the so-called rebels and their American and European bosses refused even to consider a cease fire. As has been obvious from the beginning of this humanitarian farce, the Great White Fathers of Europe and the Wall Street mascot from the United States, as Obama has been called, will be satisfied with nothing less than regime change in Libyaand to Hell with what Africans think! . . . . . The West encourages South African President Jacob Zuma to help bring chaotic Black countries into line, but Zuma and the African Union are not authorized to interfere with imperial wars on the continent. . . . When the Western attack helicopters arrive, the Benghazi-based rebels will cheer, as if they won something. The Gunga Dins should carefully study those helicopters and their awesome firepower, because those guns will one day likely be turned against them. The U.S. and Europe have no intention of allowing Libyans to rule Libya. And after all, why should the imperialists hand over all that oil to a bunch of local flunkies who couldn’t even fight their own war.BlackAgendaReport
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Worsening wealth inequality by race
White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacksa gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession. The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.
The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.
The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.
The latter three groups saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%. This allowed whites to leap ahead of Asians as the race with the highest median household net worth.
money.cnn, Tami Luhby 21 June 2012
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Melissa V. Harris-Perry
According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.
As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.
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This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.
“Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”Lisa Adkins, University of London
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By Noam Chomsky
The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against “failed states” around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, showing how the United States itself shares features with other failed statessuffering from a severe “democratic deficit,” eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world. Exploring the latest developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Chomsky reveals Washington’s plans to further militarize the planet, greatly increasing the risks of nuclear war. He also assesses the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; documents Washington’s self-exemption from international norms, including the Geneva conventions and the Kyoto Protocol; and examines how the U.S. electoral system is designed to eliminate genuine political alternatives, impeding any meaningful democracy.
Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis. Systematically dismantling the United States’ pretense of being the world’s arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky’s most focusedand urgentcritique to date.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 19 May 2010