Black Homeownership & Generational Wealth, 2/3 – Public Policy + Financial Literacy

*A previous version of this post was posted by mistake on February 12, 2019. It was a draft of the same title as this current post. As I worked on the previous draft, I realized that I had not done enough research to stand behind my conclusions. The draft was also incomplete. For these reasons, I was stuck for months on how to write a post about “Black Homeownership & Generational Wealth 2/3”. Finally, in this post, I was able to highlight the work of experts. My desire was to allow this post to be a starting point for others to continue research for themselves. Of course, I am also favorable to the resources I’ve posted below. Please forgive my previous post, from fatigue and having two windows open simultaneously after much writing, I hit “Publish” on the wrong one, with the same title. If you still have the patience, there is great information below.

I attempted, for a while, to compile and summarize
a range of findings on the benefits of homeownership
for growing networth in the black community.

As a layperson on the issue,
it proved to be overwhelming and better left to the experts.

In this post I hope to connect you to
resources from a few  of the experts I came accross:

This includes a podcast, a video, an article, a book, and
a financial literacy program suggestion to encourage continued reflection on:

– homeownership,
– generational wealth,
-housing discrimination in US history
– pursuing economic justice, and
– the value of of building net worth,
both for individuals and communities of color.

A. The History of Housing Discrimination and Its Long-term Effects – The Role of Public Policy (podcast + article + book)

NPR, Fresh Air – “A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America”
Broadcast Monday, May 3, 2017
Terry Gross interviews Richard Rothstein regarding his book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Read the summary and/or listen to the broadcast here. (35’40”)
Purchase Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law, here.


Rothstein’s new book, The Color of Law, examines the local, state and federal housing policies that mandated segregation. He notes that the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as “redlining.” At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans. …

African-American families that were prohibited from buying homes in the suburbs in the 1940s and ’50s and even into the ’60s, by the Federal Housing Administration, gained none of the equity appreciation that whites gained.”– NPR’s introduction/highlights to Richard Rothsetin’s interview about his book, “A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America”, emphasis added

B. Educating the Black Community About Financial Literacy (video + program)

Black Issues Forum 2005 -2006 | Gaining Financial Fortitude
Released September 23, 2006
Natalie Bullock Brown interviews guest panelists: Lori Jones Gibbs, Vice President of Affordable Housing Industry Affairs at Genworth Mortgage Insurance Company, Andrea Harris, Executive Director of the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development, and Dr. Bernadette Watts, Chair of the Durham Financial Fortitude Campaign sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, on financial literacy and the African American community.
Listen to/watch the episode on iTunes by following this link (track 9). (26’46”)
Grow in financial literacy with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) “Money Smart for Adults” program here.


“Really, the two most common means of creating wealth are homeownership and business ownership. And what’s in greater reach for more consumers and individuals and anyone else is homeownership. So, getting the information on the front end that helps you understand that homeownership is within your reach… is extremely important, particularly for a community that overall, and as a whole, has no net worth.” Andrea Harris, “Gaining Financial Fortitude” panelist, co-founder of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development

C. Wealth, Communities of Color & Solutions to Closing the Wealth Gap – The Role of Public Policy (podcast + report)

Vermont Conversations with David Goodman, “How enriching the 1% impoverishes communities of color”
Broadcast Wednesday, February 6, 2019
David Goodman interviews Josh Hoxie, Director, Project on Opportunity and Taxation, Institute for Policy Studies, co-author of “Dreams Deferred: How enriching the 1% impoverishes communities of color”
Listen to the podcast episode here. (27’09”)
Read the report “Dreams Deferred” by the Institute for Policy Studies here. (published January 15, 2019)


Since the early 1980s, median wealth among black and Latino families has been stuck at less than $10,000. Meanwhile, white household median wealth grew from $105,000 to $140,000, adjusted for inflation. If this trajectory continues, by 2050, the median white family will have $174,000 of wealth, while Latino median wealth will be $8,600, and black median wealth will be $600. The median black family is on track to reach $0 wealth by 2082.” – David Goodman quoting “Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide”, emphasis added 

One of the reasons we look at wealth is because it is an incredibly important measure for a family’s capacity to weather bad times. One of the reasons that I wrote a piece about this–that the government shutdown was so devastating for so many families is that they had nothing to fall back on. They had no savings. They had no nest egg. So, wealth is basically that ability, that way of weathering bad times. It’s what you save up over time. And if you hit an economic downturn in your life, then you can get by without ending up potentially homeless or in some form of financial calamity.” Josh Hoxie, co-author of “Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide”, emphasis added

I hope this is a good start to growing your awareness, compassion and drive to activism on these issues. Until next time!


Copyright © 2019 A.M. Wilsonne

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