Arc of Justice series episode 4: Time and again, the route to upward mobility in American society has been blocked for Black people. Consider the G.I. Bill, which provided college education and housing benefits for veterans after World War II. The G.I. Bill was a conveyor belt into the middle class for millions of white WWII veterans, but many Black veterans were excluded and subsequent generations continue to feel the effects.
Month: March 2021
Arc of Justice series episode 3: Home ownership played an important role in how many Americans built wealth in the 20th century. Yet, Black Americans faced significant obstacles on the path to owning a home in the same time period. In this episode, how U.S. government policies promoted residential segregation and destroyed African-American neighborhoods in the process.
Arc of Justice series episode 1: The promise of “40 acres and a mule” officially was made in 1865 when the U.S. government decided that newly freed African-Americans should have a plot of land to call their own. Three years earlier, when 90% of Black Americans still were enslaved, the federal government enacted the Homestead Act and started offering free 160-acre plots of land to settlers, mostly white Americans. A tale of two promises made by the government — one kept, one broken — that helps explain the existing wealth gap between Black and white Americans.
Arc of Justice series episode 1: It hasn’t been very long at all since we were one nation under slavery. The effects still linger. One example: Today, white households in Boston have a median net worth of about $247,000. The median net worth of a Black household in Boston is a mere $8. You read that right. What could have been done, and what could still be done, to start to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans? Welcome to The ARC of Justice.