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The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide [Paperback]

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Item Number 385453  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   326
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 7.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   New Press
ISBN  1595580042  
EAN  9781595580047  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Identifies discriminatory legal practices that benefit white Americans while preventing minorities from participating in government wealth-building programs, sharing the insights of five leading experts on the racial wealth divide to demonstrate the decisive influence of government on the net worth of everyday people. Original.

Publishers Description
An eye-opening field guide to the wealth gap.
For every dollar owned by the average white family in the United States, the average family of color has less than a dime. Why do people of color have so little wealth? "The Color of Wealth" lays bare a dirty secret: for centuries, people of color have been barred by laws and by discrimination from participating in government wealth-building programs that benefit white Americans.
This accessible book--published in conjunction with one of the country's leading economics education organizations--makes the case that until government policy tackles disparities in wealth, not just income, the United States will never have racial or economic justice.
Written by five leading experts on the racial wealth divide who recount the asset-building histories of Native Americans, Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European Americans, this book is a uniquely comprehensive multicultural history of American wealth. With its focus on public policies--how, for example, many post-World War II GI Bill programs helped whites only--"The Color of Wealth" is the first book to demonstrate the decisive influence of government on Americans' net worth.

Buy The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide by Meizhu Lui, Barbara J. Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose M. Brewer & Rebecca Adamson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781595580047 & 1595580042

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More About Meizhu Lui, Barbara J. Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose M. Brewer & Rebecca Adamson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Meizhu Lui is the director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. She was previously the executive director of United for a Fair Economy where where, with Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson, she co-authored The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (The New Press).
Barbara Robles is an economist and a former member of the board of directors of United for a Fair Economy where, with Meizhu Lui, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson, she co-authored The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (The New Press).
Betsy Leondar-Wright is an economic justice activist, sociologist, and author. She is currently the project director and senior trainer at Class Action, a non-profit that raises consciousness about class and money. She was previously the communications director at United for a Fair Economy where, with Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson, she co-authored The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (The New Press).
Rose Brewer is a professor of African American and African studies at the University of Minnesota. She is a co-author (with Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, and Rebecca Adamson) of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (The New Press).
Rebecca Adamson is a co-author (with Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, and Rose Brewer) of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (The New Press). Color of Wealth was written when the authors were all affiliated with United for a Fair Economy, a national nonpartisan organization based in Boston that campaigns against growing income and wealth inequality and inspires action to reduce economic inequality."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
These writers are just lucky we have freedom of speech/the press  Nov 12, 2008
I read this with an open mind, but then I had to question some of their facts because they would contradict each other. The book opens by comparing Whites to other races in America. The main argument is that America tilts the playing field in favor of White Americans, and people of color are oppressed to the point that we cannot accumulate wealth. However there are a few bar graphs that point to the contrary. For example, Indians and Filipinos earn more than Whites. The authors contend that most White Americans have their college paid for by their parents. But I don't see how that means that the U.S. government is giving them an unfair head start. My parents paid for my college education, and unlike the book states, they did not use the equity of their house to pay for my or my 3 siblings' college education. They are also homeowners even though they are people of color. I don't think that our situation is exactly shocking or out of the ordinary. My family is just responsible for ourselves and our own destiny in America.
The book gives a long and detailed and dreary history of America's racist past. However, we must remember that it is in the past. As bad as racism is, I don't think the answer is affirmative action, as the book suggests. Didn't Martin Luther King, Jr. dream of a nation where his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character? In addition, the racist policy that America used to have is no longer the policy today. But affirmative action would replace the old racist policies with a new racist policy.
Another point that I found strange was the idea that Reagan's policies were racist. The book goes on to say that his racist policies accidentally hurt poor Whites as well. Couldn't that just mean that the policies were not racist in the first place?
Overall I found this book very offensive as a racial minority because it claims that we cannot get to where we want to be without help from the government. Affirmative action is not legal in California, so I am glad to know that I got into UCLA on my own merit and not because of my race. If it were still legal, I would question whether I was truly good enough to get into the school. If we use affirmative action, I suspect that our abilities will be questioned.
The book's solution for the race problem is an unrealistic plan which includes a socialist state. I hope someone tells the authors that socialism failed in the USSR. Yes, the "S" stands for "Socialist." If the authors tried living in the European countries they deem so superior to the USA, they might see that some other countries are racist even today. But they will probably excuse them since those European countries have the universal healthcare and high taxes they praise in the book.
Biased and non-innovative solutions  Feb 22, 2008
This book is very biased against the US economy and is basically advocating a socialist or semi-socalist state. The book becomes very repetitive at times and the long chapters are filled with facts that do not seem related to thier arguments. Furthermore they state that the goal of the Color of Wealth is meant to provide solutions for the current state of the economy. They spend an enormous amount of time pointing out "issues" with the US economy but only spend a short paragraph at the end of each chapter explaining thier "solutions" and "conclusions" which seem very basic and at times do not flow with thier evidence. The book is filled with logic gaps in thier arguments. The main problem I have with this book is that it seems to me that they are implying that the United States is an economic aparthide system similar to that of old South Africa on page 29. Although I do give the authors some credit because the book is well researched. The authors of this book clearly seem more interested in bashing the United States from a ultra-left liberal point of view rather than providing solutions to the so called "racial problems" in the US economy. I would not recomend this book to anyone looking to understand any sort of racial economic problems in the US.
3/4 of the way it's really good and then...  Oct 27, 2006
This book is a solid piece of scholarship for the most part. The last quarter, however, dissipates into more reformism. It is interesting to see statistics on the wealth differential between Whites and other Ethnic Groups and the causal factors concomitantly, e.g. racism, Ethnocentricism, greed etc. The historical analysis as to what created the divide is thorough. That said, the prescription in the end makes one wonder if the scholars' really grasped the Historical antecedents that they presented to begin with. What occured in the past to create the disparity was not accidental. On the contrary. Whites today have the same mindset as their ancestors did in regards to wealth and securing it. How can they not? It's the same continuum. The society reinforces it. Just ask Tim Wise. Whites need only be on auto pilot to maintain this unjust system. The only solution is a complete social revolution, this - in the long run - will move people of color into equality while simultaneously changing the psyches' of Whites. Anything short of that can be consigned to phantasmic thinking.
Accessible, clear, enlightening  Jul 24, 2006
Heavily researched, but written in a very accessible way. You will learn volumes about wealth disparities and how they got that way, and you will learn something about yourself too. Highly recommended for anyone with interests in social and economic justice, racism, and just getting ahead in America.
Breaking the Seemingly Impenetrable Racial Barriers of Wealth Accumulation  Jun 24, 2006
Eye-opening doesn't even begin to describe this enlightening volume about the socioeconomic divide among whites and non-whites in this country and the role the government plays in reinforcing the separation. Organized by five key members of the nonpartisan United for a Fair Economy organization based in Atlanta, the book handily dismantles the Horatio Alger myth, especially for minority members, by detailing how economic predation has persisted even as significant strides have been made in the far more discernible civil rights arena. The co-authors - Executive Director Meizhu Lui, Communications Director Betsy Leondar-Wright, current board member Bárbara Robles, past board member (until 2005) Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson of the First Peoples Worldwide - have assembled not only a comprehensive history but also a fulsome, current picture of the economic discrimination that has festered pointedly against four different groups - African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

Not coincidentally, the five women come from five different ethnic groups (including white), which allow them to compare their individual experiences and provide personal validation (and sometimes challenges) of their findings. Perhaps the most compelling fact unearthed is the substantial divide in net worth between blacks and whites. Previously, focus has been mostly on income disparity, which while significant, has been almost passively accepted. Specifically, median household income for whites in 2003 was about $48K, while for black households it was about $30K. However, looking on the balance sheet, the co-authors uncovered the revelatory fact that whites had a median net worth of $121K in 2001 versus just $19K for blacks.

This and the book's other equally invaluable findings clearly illustrate how public policy has hindered asset accumulation among non-whites, and there is also an itemized list of special advantages afforded exclusively to whites. On a more personal level, the co-authors show how such exclusionary tactics have affected the self-esteem of their families, especially among their fathers who feel they have failed them somehow. In a hopeful effort to clarify the decisive influence of government on Americans' net worth, the book is not a socialist tract but rather a realistic how-to guide on how to affect policy changes that will help future generations in their wealth-building strategies. I think this is must-read information well worth studying by those looking for a constructive means of addressing the economic inequity in wealth, not just income. This is essential reading.

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