Black Incomes Have Fallen Further Behind Whites for the Entire 21st Century

Over at the mothership, Eli Day points out that blacks still earn a lot less than whites and have way less wealth. That’s bad enough, but it’s actually worse than that. Here are working-class black earnings since 1979 as a percent of white earnings:

Black men have made essentially no progress in the past four decades, while black women have fallen considerably further behind. Since 2000, both both men and women have fallen further behind their white counterparts. Here’s median household income:

And here’s family wealth:

Black households made income and wealth gains up through about 2000, but since then have gone backwards. Any way you look at this, the gap between blacks and whites has gotten worse throughout the entire 21st century. Anyone who doesn’t understand why the African-American community has seemingly become more despairing of racial progress lately should take a look at this. Sure, much of it is because of Ferguson, and much of it is because of Trump. But it’s more than just that, and it didn’t suddenly come out of nowhere in 2014.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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