In order to provide economic security for the formerly enslaved after the civil war, the Union memorably promised African Americans 40 acres and a mule. They never got it.

Today, African Americans collectively own just 4% of the nation’s total wealth. For the median Black family, that comes out to just 2% of what the median white family owns. For African Americans to own a share of the wealth proportionate to their 13% of the population, they would require another $10tn.

Never mind the mule.

The simplest way to build that equity isn’t education – black people with college degrees often earn less and have less wealth than whites without them. Nor can it be to continue on as if things will get better with time. Between 1983 and 2016, the median Black family saw their wealth drop by more than half after adjusting for inflation, while median white families saw their wealth increase by a third.

Read the full article at the Guardian.

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad is an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and the chief of race, wealth, and community at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

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