Just four years ago, the median wealth of African American families was $17,600, compared to $171,000 for white families, a problem known as the racial wealth gap. This gap is driven by racial discrimination in legal, financial and educational institutions, commonly referred to as systemic racism. While systemic racism has existed in the US for decades, it’s only relatively recent that researchers have started trying to calculate the losses it has caused.
In the US, the median Black household has just 10% of the wealth of the median White household, a problem known as the racial wealth gap. A number of solutions have been proposed over the years, including financial literacy courses for Black teenagers and adults to help them learn the skills needed to build wealth. But would these classes alone be enough to close the gap? Let’s review some of the research.