Free Essay: Being Black, and Living in the Red

Published: 2023-02-23
Free Essay: Being Black, and Living in the Red
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Discrimination Slavery Books
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 858 words
8 min read

In the United States, different races are affected by social advantages. Therefore racial disparity is the difference in the distribution of power, resources of the economy, and available opportunities. Some claims state that racial inequality in the United States has its roots over 300 years ago. In this case, one is required to focus on chapter two of Conley's being black, living in the red.

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In the olden days, African American people owned around 0.5 percent of the total United States. This was during the period when most black people were slaves. However, this did not change after slavery was abolished. This is since, in the book, one finds that the black-owned only 1 percent of the riches. That is, the majority of black people owned freedom but had ownership that was less compared to the whites.

Nonetheless, whites had more wealth which has been growing over generations. Due to this, the gap of asset ownership between blacks and whites increased even after slavery has been abolished. This is where one applies the concept of one requires money for him or her to make more.

Apart from that, there is the American dream which the black have gained little to help them believe. In the 1960s, most of the poor blacks concentrated in the inner city had the same thoughts of the American dream. However, a middle-class black who is working and earning thinks bitterly of the dream, which is vice versa to the past (Conley, 2010). This is since most of the black people despite having the freedom and prestigious jobs, still, find it challenging to achieve since the whites are mostly identified with their class. That is the houses, business, and even the cars they own.

On the other hand, lower earnings among blacks are not due to the difference between the wealth of whites and blacks. That is, whites have a high level of income compared to blacks. Mainly due to low or no income, black families usually have no assets. This, therefore, makes it clear that not only do black people lack assets but also lack even distribution of resources among themselves. That is whites share their resources evenly in that low earning people have facilities disposed at them at lower prices which is hard for the black people.

Nonetheless, there was an issue on saving, spending, and investing. When it came to the blacks, they save less due to wealth difference. That is black people rampantly spend their income. A good example is in the films acted by blacks where they illustrate fashion among the young African American. The blacks mainly spend seeking to be identified and to have a class on their own. Apart from that, they also indulge in spending to kill the feeling of oppression which they face daily. Therefore, as a result of relying on consumer goods and entertainment, there is a low saving rate among the black, which elaborates differences in the race and accumulation of wealth. Apart from that adolescent of African American usually spend of particular goods such as sneakers and movies which do not add up in identifying the total amount they spend. That is, most whites' usage may be unpopular but evident when it comes to the final prepared account.

Another case is where African American is inadequate when it comes to entrepreneurship. That is most blacks hardly take a risk in commencing their own business or getting self-employed. African American are, in most cases referred to as street hustlers since they mostly engage in illegal jobs such as dealing in drugs. However, in the rates of self-employment, there is no racial difference. This is since the book illustrates that most of the black Americans are self-employed as compared to whites. That is middle-class blacks most of them end up risking to start the business of their own while only a few whites in the highest income bracket are willing to risk. This bracket is mainly made of the doctors and lawyers occupations in which the blacks have equal access recently.

However, some of the disparities are due to the historical nature of race relations in the United States. Based on history, low wages result in savings that are low, whereby most of the blacks have been denied to become business owners. That is lack of wealth among African American is due to deprivation of resources by the whites. This means that the whites have had much time to save, earn, and to inherit wealth. Due to historical effects, most of the blacks end up having fewer opportunities in starting up businesses which means fewer savings and wealth for people coming after them. Apart from that, there is a challenge whereby the blacks still face institutional barriers which hinder them from changing their income to equity.

From the above context, one can conclude that racial disparity has been there from the past among the Americans. That is, whites considered themselves superior compared to blacks building themselves. Not forgetting that whites enslaved blacks thus hindering them from developing themselves.


Conley, D. (2010). Being black, living in the red: Race, wealth, and social policy in America. Univ of California Press.

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