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.
The catch-22 of black banking is that the very institutions needed to help communities escape the deep poverty caused by discrimination and segregation inevitably became victims of that same poverty. Not only could black banks not “control the black dollar” due to the dynamics of bank depositing and lending but they drained black capital into white banks, leaving the black economy with the scraps.
Mehrsa 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.
Lisa Renee Pitts is an award-winning actress in theater, television, and film, as well as an accomplished audiobook narrator. She has been seen Off-Broadway, in Europe, and in regional theaters across the United States, performing leading roles in such prominent plays as A Raisin in the Sun, Doubt, Waiting for
Lefty, Valley Song, and Our Town. Her television appearances include The Shield and Law and Order, and she played the recurring role of Allison Sawyer on the hit family drama Lincoln Heights for the ABC Family Channel. Lisa's audiobook titles
include biographies, fiction, nonfiction and children's novels, including Pushkin and the Queen of Spades by Alice Randall, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award for excellence in narration. Other notable titles are Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, Better Than I Know Myself by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, and My Name Is Not Angelica by Scott O'Dell. Lisa is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received her B.F.A. in Theater Arts. She lives in Burbank, California.