The Color of Law

The Color of Law

A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein

median white household wealth (assets minus liabilities) is about $ 134,000, while median black household wealth is about $ 11,000—less than 10 percent as much. Not all of this enormous difference is attributable to the government’s racial housing policy, but a good portion of it certainly is. Equity that families have in their homes is the main source of wealth for middle-class Americans. African American families today, whose parents and grandparents were denied participation in the equity-accumulating boom of the 1950s and 1960s, have great difficulty catching up now. As with income, there is little mobility by wealth in America. In fact, intergenerational wealth mobility is even less than intergenerational income mobility.

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