Economic Advancement Among African Americans

Improved Essays
African Americans have been economically disadvantaged in the United States for generations because of factors that are beyond their reach. Economic Advancement among African Americans has improved over time but the wealth gap is still too large to ignore. The lack of black wealth can be attributed to several factors the main one being slavery. Other factors that had huge impact are the G.I Bill, red lining by banks and real estate agents, and high incarceration rates.
Slavery in the United States drove the economy in the country. With the advent of the cotton gin the United States was producing more cotton than ever before all at the hands of African slaves. It is well known that slaves were never paid or compensated for their labor while
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The loans greatly impacted the home ownership market in the United States and lead to the rise of suburbs across the United States. Many soldiers from WWII were in a great position to succeed in life with a college degree and a home. But for African Americans, many could not take advantage of the loan benefits. Many African Americans found it hard to own a home because of a practice called redlining. Red lining is the practice in which real estate agents refuse to sell and give out loans to minorities in certain areas. This practice was backed by the Federal Housing Authority from 1934- 1968, on the FHA’s redlining map the description of the red area reads, "Red areas represent those neighborhoods in which the things that are now taking place in the Yellow neighborhoods, have already happened. They are characterized by detrimental influences in a pronounced degree, undesirable population or infiltration of it. Low percentage of home ownership, very poor maintenance and often vandalism prevail. Unstable incomes of the people and difficult collections are usually prevalent. The areas are broader than the so-called slum districts. Some mortgage lenders may refuse to make loans in these neighborhoods and other will lend only on a conservative …show more content…
The benefits of closing the wealth gap between African Americans and whites far outweigh the harm they can do so it’s time for American society to push for reforms and regulations that benefit the entire population and not just a particular race. When it comes to housing polices and homeownership, stricture enforcement of laws and regulations that prohibits predatory lending and housing policies would go a long way in closing the gap. Diversity in neighborhoods across the United States should be encouraged so we do not have overwhelmingly white suburbs and majority minority urban neighborhoods. Americans should push for a higher federal minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is no longer livable with our rising cost of living. Just to make ends meet on that wage alone would require people to have more than one job just to survive in America. Tougher enforcement of discrimination laws would allow African Americans and other minorities to enter more white dominated career fields, receive promotions more often, and most importantly making sure they are receiving equal pay for their work. Education must be reformed so that there is public Pre-K and full day kindergarten. Schools in urban areas must be equipped and maintained so they can carry their student from their early grade school years all the wat to college, so they too can have equal footing

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