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The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide Paperback – June 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; Copyright 2006 edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595580042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595580047
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The authors are all part of United for a Fair Economy, a national nonpartisan organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, that campaigns against growing income- and wealth inequality and inspires action to reduce economic inequality.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelly O'Brien on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Third World on October 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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By Rashnu on June 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great documentation of how wealth in the US has been deliberately maldistributed for the last few hundred years. A good view of the history leading to lasting wealth disparities.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in racism in all its forms, this is a great book to read. It deals with the economic divide between the races, its causes and suggestions for the rich to deal with the issue. Everyone could benefit from reading this book, particularly those who work with the poor. A good companion to Bridges Out of Poverty by Ruby Payne, it would be a great study book for book clubs, churches and organizations.
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By Stephen D. Haefling on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book! I read this as a recommendation given by Sue and Sue in "Counseling the Culturally Diverse". It was certainly eye opening and a must read for any Caucasian individual who doesn't think he or she is privileged due to the color of their skin.
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