I recently read an article written by Seth Freed Wessler in 2015 about the differences in wealth between Black and white families in America. Wessler argues that education, job opportunities and income contribute to, but are not the root cause of inequity of Blacks in this country. According to research, in 2011 Black graduates who were head of household had two thirds the net worth of white high school dropouts who headed a household. From this research, Wessler concluded that jobs and education don’t make much of a difference as to why Blacks do not have nearly as much money as their white counterparts.
Wealth is key. White families are historically more wealthy than Black families. Statistics show that a much greater number of white families are able to transfer money to their family members than Blacks, which creates a “safety net” for them to take more career risks and focus on business ventures more than Blacks, who, without the wealth, are forced to focus on paying bills and/or caring for less financially well-off family members. This can also be attributed to college graduation rates. Wealthy white college students are able to focus more on their studies than non-wealthy Blacks, who may have to drop out of school due to the financial burden or work their way through school, which can make finishing classes difficult.
The structural whiteness of this country will likely not change in the near future. Though education isn’t the core determining factor of success, Black students must receive a quality education to be able to compete and survive in this country that cares for the wealthy majority above all others.