The Color of Wealth

Buy this book at!When you read a book like The Color of Wealth, you might get lulled into that Negro sense of white satisfaction. It is very important for our mental health to synthesize the reports in The Color of Wealth with the findings in Credit Card Nation. When we listen to, say, the NPR interview by one of the co-authors of The Color of Wealth, we need to listen for references to this synthesis. There is the tendency to permit a shroud of perfection to fall over the self-described “white world” when we talk about the injustices perpetrated on the opposing non-white in general and Africans in particular.

This same critique applies to “Mike Thornton: Black Farmers vs. USDA” here at It is for our health to remember that Black farmers are largely family farmers and then look at the history of family farmers in the United States and the rise of agri-business. These recommended therapies are not ways to “find balance” when these issues of injustice are discussed. Remember those scales of justice? Why would you look for balance when you are talking about imbalance? No. My effort is toward the conclusion that any corporate-backed trimming of the “mainstream” grass roots is always accompanied with scorched earth policies for African roots—Centurions sowing the earth with salt, baby.

So the The Color of Wealth moved me toward these points:

  • The book points out that material wealth in African-American families move from the younger generations to the older ones, while “white family” material wealth moves in the opposite direction. Surely this must be data weighted toward the pre-1950s! What would be an interesting aside is to explore patterns in contemporary social relations of these families. Do younger generations find emotional support as well as financial support from older generations? Modern African American elders are not known (by me) as wellsprings of emotional/community support. For many people with strong African features of the baby-boom generation, old age is a relatively selfish time of recovery from a hard life of racism and big American gluttony. Yes, some grandbabies get took but there are very little plans for nurturing the independence of adult children. Something in me tells me that Sojourner Truth would not be sympathetic to their “hard lives.”
  • Sadly there is no time for me to read this book right about now. But my confidence swaggers toward the conclusion that this book will not discuss one ‘strategy’ young “successful” African-Americans ‘pursue’ to respond to the fundamental design flaws in their family structure: to abandon their family altogether and marry into a family that does not have such an African-American heritage. You don’t get on NPR with a book exploring such “racist” issues. It would be very difficult to measure or discover this ‘Black-flight’ phenomenon when it is very likely that the people with the academic qualifications to institutionalize this study are themselves deeply engaged in this Black-flight. More “ridiculous drivel” brought to you at a personal note, I need to thank my father for paying for my college fees. He saved me from huge student-loan debt. However, this did not prevent me from getting into relatively bad consumer credit relationships. Age and mind over time has finally led me to be deeply offended that I must pay off consumer debts first before money can be spent on my children. There is the feeling in our rented household that we are a little African country saddled with IMF debt.