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There's a hidden but easy-to-guess reason why many white folks are born wealthier than black folks.

Why do you think African-American households have lower accumulated wealth than white ones?

There's a hidden but easy-to-guess reason why many white folks are born wealthier than black folks.
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Open Society Foundations

I've been accused by Facebook trolls of being "ashamed" of my "whiteness."

News flash: Understanding and supporting the efforts of all Americans to make things more equal for our fellow citizens — and people all over the world, for that matter — is not anything I'm ever going to be ashamed of.


Tell ya what ... Google the Wilmington race riot (oh, heck, I'll just do it for you: Wilmington race riot). Read that little bit of history and get back to me. Yes, things like this happen, and yes, it affects future generations of those families for decades, if not centuries.

The fact is, generations of racism and denied opportunities have indeed led to African-American families having less resources, on average, than white.

Listen to Sandy Darity explain it below, which he does so well. (Note that the data he based this on was for 2009; it's changed a bit since then. Check below the video for updated stats.)

Here's a breakdown:

  • The median wealth for the average white household in 2009 was about $113,000, while the median wealth for the average black household was less than $6,000.

  • Black and white rates of saving are about the same. In some income categories, black saving rates are actually higher. It's not about saving versus spending.
  • Inheritances affect wealth, but so do parents who give money while they're still alive. Parents supporting a child in college, or helping with a downpayment on a home affect accumulated wealth.
  • The vast majority of peoples' wealth comes from previous generations. This doesn't occur when black wealth is destroyed (see the Wilmington Race Riot example above). And it didn't happen when black families were not permitted to earn a decent living — like, say, in the pre-Jim Crow South and before the days of affirmative action when some employers simply didn't hire African-Americans.

See where this is going?

Let's hear Sandy Darity, professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies and Economics at Duke University, tell us more:

The next time you hear that the reason black families have lower rates of wealth is "black people don't save as much as white people," share this video with them.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

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Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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