“The Color of Money” by Mehrsa Baradaran discusses the history of Black banks. The author endeavors to show the problems of relying on Black banks to solve the economic problems within the Black community. She shows that throughout history this has been an often repeated idea. Local Black banks and Black people have been tasked with guiding the community out of poverty.
Tag: <span>black empowerment</span>
“When Affirmative Action Was White” by Ira Katznelson tells the story of how the progressive programs of the 1930s and 1940s solidified and expanded the American middle class. The implementation of these programs were designed to especially benefit White citizens while excluding Black citizens whenever possible. Coupled with other economic injustices of the past, this unfair distribution of resources and opportunities contributed to the wealth gap that persists to this day. Yet, because the underlying political shenanigans are often unmentioned, it has allowed people in the present to oppose more recent affirmative action programs intended to rectify the situation.
If you’re interested in learning about a woman who established facilities to provide classes and programs for her local community (Locust Street Settlement) as well as a residential rehabilitation facility for girls and young women (Virginia Industrial Home School for Colored Girls), then my Janie Porter Barrett Black History Fact profile is for you.
“Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi provides a history of America’s racist ideas. Organized into five sections, the book tells the history of not just Black people in America but also how racist ideologies developed over time. This history is also viewed through the lens of categorizing people, events, and concepts into three positions on a spectrum ranging from racist to anti-racist. Of particular interest are explanations of the nuance of items that fall in the middle.
“Malcolm X” is a 1992 Spike Lee Joint starring Denzel Washington in the life story of the controversial leader. The film mostly moves in chronological order though it occasionally jumps back to Malcolm’s childhood. We see his early days as a teen in Boston as well as his time as a numbers runner in Harlem and later a burglar. But most importantly we bear witness to his journey of self-discovery and the transformation that leads to him becoming a leader in the Civil Rights Movement or more accurately an early forerunner to the Black Pride Movement.