Harms to Descendants

Roy L. Brooks

in Atonement and Forgiveness

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780520239418
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939738 | DOI:
Harms to Descendants

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The racialized distribution of the poker chips—power, wealth, and privilege—continues to limit opportunities for Black Americans thirty years after the cheating stopped, with the passage of civil rights legislation. These assets are passed down intergenerationally. Some economists assess that up to 80 percent of lifetime wealth accumulation results from gifts from earlier generations, ranging from down payment on a home to a bequest by a parent. Therefore, power, wealth, and privilege are more than just comforts or tolerances. They create the starting point for the next generation. The starting point for each succeeding generation is necessarily racialized when power, wealth, and privilege are racialized. This is not to say there has been no racial progress over the decades. The fact is, important racial disadvantage—capital deficiencies—persists despite such progress. In addition, these capital deficiencies are rooted in slavery and Jim Crow.

Keywords: Black Americans; legislation; economists; tolerances; generation

Chapter.  24476 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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