Mehrsa Baradaran presents The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

Tuesday October 3, 7:30PM

@ Red Emma's

When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, the black community owned less than one percent of the United States’ total wealth. More than 150 years later, that number has barely budged. The Color of Money pursues the persistence of this racial wealth gap by focusing on the generators of wealth in the black community: black banks. Studying these institutions over time, Mehrsa Baradaran challenges the myth that black communities could ever accumulate wealth in a segregated economy. Instead, housing segregation, racism, and Jim Crow credit policies created an inescapable, but hard to detect, economic trap for black communities and their banks.

Baradaran challenges the long-standing notion that black banking and community self-help is the solution to the racial wealth gap. These initiatives have functioned as a potent political decoy to avoid more fundamental reforms and racial redress. Examining the fruits of past policies and the operation of banking in a segregated economy, she makes clear that only bolder, more realistic views of banking’s relation to black communities will end the cycle of poverty and promote black wealth.

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@ Red Emma's

Kristen Jeffers has always been interested in how cities work. She’s also always loved writing things. She went off to a major state university, got a communication degree and then started a more professional Blogger site. Then, in her graduate seminar on urban politics, along with browsing the urbanist blogosphere, she realized that her ideas should have a stronger, clearer voice, one that reflects her identity as a Black southern woman. And with that The Black Urbanist blog was born. Seven years, one Twitter account, one self-published book and a litany of speeches and urban planning projects later, here we are. Kristen will join us to talk about why she started the blog, why she keeps it going and how important it is to bring your personality and your identity to spaces that may or may not be built for you.


In ‘“You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones”: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education’, three distinguished educators, scholars, and activists flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers' unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, and underscoring the necessity of strong and vital public schools as a common good, the authors challenge readers--whether parents, community members, policymakers, union activists, or educators themselves--to rethink their assumptions.