For blacks, college is not an equalizer

By | April 17, 2017

cclaimed TV shows such as “Atlanta,” “Black-ish” and “Insecure” reveal a troubling paradox: Why do many well-educated black Americans feel so economically insecure? Here’s a surprising clue: Blacks with college degrees have lost wealth over the past generation.

Lots of wealth, in fact — and in sharp contrast to whites. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis — where I work — has found that, between 1992 and 2013, college-educated whites saw their wealth soar by 86 percent while college-educated blacks saw theirs plummet by 55 percent. Losing wealth means losing a cushion against hard times and a springboard for better times; it also means losing a chance to endow the next generation with the wealth we’ve accumulated over our lives.

You may wonder: How could college-educated blacks over the past 25 years actually lose wealth despite meaningful progress among blacks overall in educational attainment, political representation, voting rights, anti-discrimination measures and other realms? (Chicago Tribune)

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