Thursday, November 13, 2008

Racial Disparities Explained in Bliss Broyard's One Drop

I am currently reading Bliss Broyard's One Drop, about her discovery after her father's death that her father was Black. It is a magnificent book. If anyone ever was confused about why there is such disparity in the economic well-being of African American communities and white communities, here is a better break-down of the reason why than any I have ever seen. This is also one of the main reasons behind the huge mess that we as a nation are in economically. Bliss Broyard writes in One Drop that:

"The sociologist Dalton Conley has suggested that the achievement gap between whites and Blacks can be explained by differences in their net worth, which is largely a measure of their inherited monies. My parents, for example, by buying and selling properties in Connecticut and Martha's Vineyard, were able to increase an initial investment of $110,000 to about $2.4 million ocer a forty year time span, for a 2000 percent profit. Conversely, the home purchased by my cousin Jeanne and her husband,Frank, in the Seventh Ward in 1965 for $10,000 increased in value to about $80,000 over the same period of time,for a 700 percent return on their investment.

The discrepancy can be explained in part by the differences between the northern and southern economies, but it was also rooted in racism. All over the country, lenders frequently deemed Black neighborhoods as risky investments, which made it hard for African Americans to secure mortgages. Redlining, as the practice was called, was so widespread that whites had received 98 percent of the $120 billion dollars of federally financed home loans issued between 1934 and 1962....The neighborhoods where my parents had lived would never be similarly scapegoated by local planning policy. The substantial proceeds from their real estate investments will eventually be passed down to my brother and me, to be used, most likely, to pay for our children's college educations, further perpetuating my family's legacy of privilege."


Anonymous said...

Anatole Broyard was NOT "black." He was a predominately white Creole of mixed ancestry.

"Passing" for Who You Really Are: Essays in Support of Multiracial Whiteness
by A.D. Powell
Backintyme Publishing

Brandon said...

Honey, you can slice that anyway you want to. And actually, there is no such thing as whiteness. I find the idea of "multiracial whiteness" to be something intriguing--like something grotesque hanging on a wall. Whiteness has nothing to do with ethnicity...white only means legitimacy. Thats it. Alas, Black blood, on the other hand....certainly makes you Black--in this society.

Brandon said...

Also, how can he be "white" and his sisters and parents were Black? This is the ludicrousness of white folk's bullshit... Just to speak frankly...

Anonymous said...

How do you explain the "inferior black blood" in Latinos and Arabs? They happily spread the supposedly tainted blood throughout the "white race" and no one seems to care. The fact is that "whites" as a group are not concerned with policing white purity. That is the Negro's job, and they do it with malice and relish.