Racism and discrimination have choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. At several historic moments, the trajectory of racial inequality could have been altered dramatically. But neither Reconstruction nor the New Deal nor the civil rights struggle led to an economically just and fair nation. Today, systematic inequality persists in the form of housing discrimination, unequal education, police brutality, mass incarceration, employment discrimination, and massive wealth and opportunity gaps. Economic data indicates that for every dollar the average white household holds in wealth the average black household possesses a mere ten cents.
This compelling and sharply argued book addresses economic injustices head-on and make the most comprehensive case to date for economic reparations for U.S. descendants of slavery. Using innovative methods that link monetary values to historical wrongs, William Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen assess the literal and figurative costs of justice denied in the 155 years since the end of the Civil War and offer a detailed roadmap for an effective reparations program, including a substantial payment to each documented U.S. black descendant of slavery. This new edition features a new foreword addressing the latest developments on the local, state, and federal level and considering current prospects for a comprehensive reparations program.