The first episode of a new podcast series presents a startling comparison: White households in Boston have a median net worth of about $247,000 dollars. The median net worth of a Black household there is a mere $8 dollars.
Inequality like this is a national issue, so the latest season of the Ways and Means podcast, called “The ARC of Justice—From Here to Equality,” focuses on the topic. What could have been done, and what could still be done, to start to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans?
This six-part podcast series, grounded in the scholarship of Duke Professor William Darity, Jr. (“Sandy”) and folklorist and arts consultant A. Kirsten Mullen, explores how today’s economic inequality came to be, including the US government’s complicity in its creation.
Darity and Mullen cowrote the book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century (UNC Press, 2020).
The series “ARC of Justice” responds to the need for Acknowledgement, Redress, and Closure (ARC) to remedy historical injustices that Black Americans have faced. Many believe we live in a post-racial society, yet economic data suggest otherwise. For every dollar of wealth owned by the average US white household, the average Black household possesses a mere ten cents.
In this first episode, there’s an interview with someone who is just one generation away from slavery. Yet the legacy of slavery is clouded by myths, falsehoods, and whitewashing—by our collective “dismemory.” It digs into “dismemory”—concerted efforts to distort the nation’s history of slavery—and how it prevents us from reckoning with slavery’s true costs through the generations.
You can find the transcript for this episode here.
The series is produced in partnership with North Carolina Public Radio WUNC. It has support from the Duke Office for Faculty Advancement thanks to funding from the Duke Endowment.
Source: Duke University