Black Homeowners Lost $156 Billion Due to Discrimination

In December 2018, the Brookings Institute released a report that examined and documented the devaluation of homes in majority Black neighborhoods. The report found that, “Across all majority black
neighborhoods, owner-occupied homes are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average, amounting to $156 billion in cumulative losses.”

As was pointed out, by Andre Perry (lead author of the report) at the Brookings Institute’s “Homeownership while Black” forum, the $156 billion in losses could have gone towards funding for:

4.4 million Black-owned businesses
8.1 million 4-year college degrees at public colleges and universities
It would replace the pipes in Flint, MI 3,000 times
It would fund 97% of Hurricane Katrina costs

That’s a lot of money!

Consequently, the unfair and discriminatory devaluation of Black homes harms Black residents substantially. It increases the racial wealth gap, thereby preventing access to upward mobility.

In case you were wondering why it’s hard for many Black communities to build wealth, start with reading this report.

Here are some highlights from the report:

There is strong evidence that bias has tangible effects on real estate markets, both historically and today. During the 20th century, both explicit government institutions and decentralized political actions created and sustained racially segregated housing conditions in the United States. (page 5)

This has created what has been dubbed a “segregation tax,” resulting in lower property valuations for blacks compared to whites per dollar of income. (page 5)

Contemporary work from social scientists has aimed to sort out whether these lower valuations are caused by differences in socio-economic status, neighborhood qualities, or discrimination. The results tend to show compelling evidence for discrimination.  In one study, Valerie Lewis, Michael Emerson, and Stephen Klineberg collected detailed survey data on neighborhood racial preferences in Houston, Texas. They asked people to imagine that they were looking for a new house, found one within their price range and close to their job; they then say to respondents, “checking the neighborhood . . .” and then present different scenarios based on racial composition, school quality, crime, and property value changes
for the hypothetical neighborhood.” (page 5)

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Black Americans are highly urbanized. 90 percent live in metropolitan areas, compared to 86 percent of all U.S. residents. And decades after the Civil Rights movement, blacks remain highly segregated. Though blacks comprise just 12 percent of the U.S. population, 70 percent live in neighborhoods that are over 20 percent black, and 41 percent live in majority black neighborhoods.

These majority black neighborhoods may be overlooked as sites for economic development, but they contain important assets, in terms of people, public infrastructure, and wealth. (page 10)

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The devaluation of black neighborhoods is widespread across the country. There are 119 metropolitan areas with at least one majority black census tract and one census tract that is less than 1 percent black. In 117 of these 119 metro areas, homes in majority black neighborhoods are valued lower than homes in neighborhoods where blacks are less than 1 percent of the population. Gainesville, Fla. and Sebring, Fla. are the only exceptions.

Download the full report here.

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Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is a publisher and multicultural communications specialist. To reach J.A.M., email her at JAMAiwuyor@gmail.com.

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On Fairfax and Northam: How Justice Was Weaponized to Excuse Racism

OG: Image

As a Black woman that has experienced sexual assault, the last few days in Virginia politics has left me reeling in a vortex of anger and distrust. Unfortunately, I’m not alone. Governor Ralph Northam effectively lost the Black community’s trust with his admission/non-admission of having posed in a yearbook photo with blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes at the ripe age of 25 years old.

Consequently, he was asked by Virginia Democrats to resign. He promptly refused, causing more mayhem. However, the glimmer of hope was the possibility of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, taking Northam’s place.

Justin Fairfax speaking to reporters.

Then, suddenly that glimmer of hope came crashing down as sexual abuse allegations spread about Fairfax. With two allegations, one from Professor Vanessa Tyson (2004) and one from Meredith Watson (2000) – it was clear that Fairfax was no longer on the road to becoming governor. It was also clear that the political circus in Virginia was going to become more complicated, more disappointing, and more enraging.

As scholar Melissa Harris-Perry pointed out on Twitter, “Now observers are wringing hands over the “racist v rapist” dilemma facing Virginia. Welcome to the intersection where black women live.”

Democrats were at first unsure how to process the Fairfax allegations. But as Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson told more of their very detailed and compelling stories, a uniformed call for Fairfax’s resignation began. There was even a delegate preparing to impeach him.

At the same time, Governor Ralph Northam was all but planning a quiet victory party, hoping to rebuild his appeal among Black voters with a new race-based agenda. The conversation about his photos with blackface and KKK robes mostly died down. Many people, including some self-proclaimed progressives, rested on the “blackface is bad but not criminal,” excuse.

Ralph Northam speaking in an interview with CBS.


These statements dangerously minimize the fact that the Ku Klux Klan is a domestic terrorist group. Black communities were not angry at Northam for having bad manners. We were angry because those photographs depict an alignment with people that have terrorized, murdered, and raped Black and Brown people across the United States of America. A 25-year-old man in medical school (FROM VIRGINIA) knows very well what the Klan is and what they represent.

If Tamir Rice was a man, if Mike Brown was a man, if Trayvon Martin was a man, then surely Ralph Northam was a man at 25 years old – fully capable of the repercussions of his actions (both then and now).

As a Black woman that has experienced sexual assault, I am in no way excusing or minimizing allegations against Justin Fairfax. Nevertheless, accountability shouldn’t be selectively reserved when it comes to issues surrounding racism and sexual assault. Though the two issues should never be conflated – we can and should hold people accountable for both.

I feared that Democrats would allow Northam and his allies to weaponize the Fairfax allegations in order to remain governor and never be held fully accountable for his actions. And that is exactly what happened. Basically, Fairfax’s sexual assault allegations became the shield for Northam’s racist transgressions. In that case, Black women, whom everyone suddenly pretends to care about, are no safer, no more protected than we were before.

It’s all a horrible mess that no one could have predicted. But we’re here now, and we have to make sense of it.

In both cases, there must be justice. Fairfax has been accused of a crime. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson should be heard. Their testimonies should be taken seriously. There should be a full investigation, and there should be full accountability. On the other hand, Northam publically aligned himself with terrorists in his yearbook photos. To me, this is enough for removal as well. And he should also be thoroughly investigated.

But now that’s not going to happen.

Between Fairfax and Northam, the only thing I’m rooting for is truth and justice.

However, we can not allow the hope for justice to be weaponized against us. Untangling this web of chaos isn’t easy. Even as I write this, I feel juxtaposed against myself. Perhaps, I am.

However, if Democrats were willing to impeach Fairfax with no specific plan for addressing Northam, they were not truly working towards ensuring justice. They’ve only allowed justice to be weaponized to protect another person in power.

Lastly, as we move closer to 2020, there are only going to be more revelations, accusations, and scandals. I strongly advise Democrats to develop a well thought out process that brings more order and equality to moves towards investigating issues and enforcing accountability.

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Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is a publisher and multicultural communications specialist. To reach J.A.M., email her at JAMAiwuyor@gmail.com.

Black Panther Film Book Author, Jesse J. Holland to Lead Discussion on Impact of Hit Film

Author and award-winning journalist Jesse J. Holland will lead a discussion on the topic “Wakanda to the United States: Is the Black Panther Opening Doors and Changing Minds” Monday, October 1, 2018 at the Aspen Institute. Holland wrote “The Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?” commissioned by Marvel Entertainment for the hit film. He will speak during a working lunch at the International Career Advancement Program (ICAP)sponsored by the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Prior to the lunch, Holland will join popular Sirius XM radio show host and BBC analyst Eric Hamm and Jeffrey Ballou of the Al Jazeera Media Network for a panel on “Diversity in Media.”

Holland is also a race and ethnicity writer for The Associated Press as well as a former White House, Supreme Court and congressional reporter.

Jesse J. Holland is an award-winning journalist and the author of “Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?” In this novel, Holland retells the origin story of the original Black Panther updated for the new century. Holland is also the author of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Finn’s Story” and “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House”; the latter was honored at the Independent Publisher Book Awards and by Smithsonian.com.

 

 

Also read: Dear Black People Going To See Black Panther

Nappily Ever After: A Black woman’s journey to self-discovery now on Netflix

nappily every after - sanaa lathan

I’m super excited about the premiere of Nappily Ever After on Netflix.

The movie is based on the book by Trisha R. Thomas. It’s refreshing to see the narrative concerning the relationship that Black women have with our natural hair and how it affects our sense of self and relationships. I remember the first time that I ever chopped off my hair. I never had much, to begin with, but like many Black girls, that was mainly due to breakage and damage caused by perms that we were taught to live by in our communities.

I dabbled with natural hair in high school but social pressures and a lack of guidance concerning natural hair care brought me back to the perm. There were no natural hair Youtube gurus back then. Growing up in a small town, I was pretty much on my own. As soon as I graduated, I cut off every bit of permed hair and started growing locs. It was a liberating experience that was one of my entry points to womanhood. I had chosen to embrace my natural kinks and that process led me on a road to self-discovery and empowerment.

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Nappily Ever After showcases a similar experience.

Additionally, I think it’s great that this movie ties in how Black women’s decision to wear our natural hair has an effect on our dating lives. I’ve found it to be a blessing. Natural hair is a simple ignorance deterrent. It helped me to stay clear of men obsessed with European standards of beauty. No Black woman should be dating them anyway.  What some view as a diss is really a blessing in disguise.

Many of my sister-friends have shared similar stories. I’ve enjoyed watching Sanaa Lathan share the ups and downs of our experiences in a positive light on a major platform.

Nappily Ever After is not only about hair. It’s a story about a Black woman’s journey to self-discovery and the reclamation of her life.

Read the movie synopsis below and Happy Watching!

Violet Jones has a seemingly flawless life – a great job, a handsome doctor boyfriend, and a meticulously maintained perfect coiffure. But after an accident at the hair-dresser, each of these things start to unravel, and Violet begins to realize that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one that she really wanted. Starring Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle, Lyriq Bent with Ernie Hudson and Lynn Whitfield. Nappily Ever After premieres September 21st only on Netflix.

Showing Our Girls We Love Them With Words and Actions

Part I of the Writing In My Image Series by Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor

A long time ago, I started the journey of writing my first children’s book. However, after coming up with the title, I did some research and found that it was not unique enough. I also came across a few trademark registrations that would have made it difficult for me to move forward with publishing and merchandising. Thus, I decided to move in a completely different direction but with the same goal – publish a children’s book that promoted self care and self love among young Black girls. I wanted my book to show the love and care that I remember receiving from family members and role models growing up. Thus, I felt it important to use a term of endearment throughout the book to show both the connection and love for my young readers.

After starting a list, I reached out to a large group of friends asking them to share with me terms of endearment that they remember hearing growing up. My phone became flooded with text messages from friends, family members and school mates. Everyone had something to share. My list grew larger and larger. By the end of the day, I had crowdsourced about 30 loving nicknames that we give young girls in our families and communities.

Seeing the long list of terms of endearment used for Black girls warmed my heart. I instantly started thinking about all the love we received growing up and all of the people that tried to show it. “We love our girls,” kept resonating in my mind over and over again.

We hear so much negativity on a constant basis regarding the Black community’s treatment of Black women and girls. It’s true, we live in a patriarchal society that is often overly male focused. It’s true, that our girls face discrimination and oppression at almost every turn. It’s true that when we are wronged, it is harder to get people to show up for us in the same numbers as we have for Black men and boys.

It is also true that we love our girls. It is also true that people have fought and will continue to fight for us. In almost every traumatic moment in my life, there were always people within my community that were there for me. Many of my sister friends have also experienced this. There was a person or people around us there to show us love, all the while calling us “baby girl”, “sweetie pie,” or “dear heart,” as terms of endearment. Those people and their support matters. This should also be uplifted.

I do believe that we care.  I do believe that we love.

However, it’s not enough to use nice words. It’s a start but it’s far from the finish. We need to consistently show our girls that we care through both our words and our actions. This means uplifting them, standing up for them, providing them with opportunities, giving them positive reinforcement, protecting them, giving them freedom to be themselves, believing them when they say they’ve been harmed, reporting all predators or other harmful people – the list goes on. We need to do everything we can to show our girls that they are loved and we need to do it early.

View the list below to see the terms of endearment from my amazing group of sister friends.

Terms of Endearment for Little Black Girls

Baby girl, Lil mama, Brown sugar babe, Lil bit, Child, Sis, Boo, Sweetie pie, Doll baby, Sweet pea, Honey Child, Sugar plum, Sister Girl, Chocolate drop, Brown sugar, Sweetie, Missy, Precious, Pumpkin, Princess, Suga foot, Miss thang, Young lady, little girl, Mama’s Butt butt, Bunny, Toot, Sweet love, Angel face, Boo baby, Love muffin, Baby Cakes, My lil love bug, Chickadee, Deary, Dear heart, and My love.

Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of Our Legaci Press and the author of Rise and Shine, Dear Heart, a children’s book that provides encouragement to young girls, while showcasing diverse skin tones, shapes and sizes. Rise and Shine, Dear Heart is available for pre-order at OurLegaciPress.com/books.

 

 


Join me at the Rise and Shine, Dear Heart Children’s Book Launch Party on Saturday August 25, 2018. RSVP at DearHeart.Eventbrite.com

 

Dear Black People Going To See Black Panther

Black Panther World Premiere
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Actor Angela Bassett at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Angela Bassett

Negative Nancys are out here trying to shame folks for being excited about the film Black Panther.

Well, I’m here to say this loudly:

It’s fine to wear African clothing, dance, relax and have fun.

All of this is perfectly normal and human. Furthermore, it’s beautiful to see all of this melanin on my timeline adorned in African inspired clothing, with positive Black messages.

Trust me, the ancestors are pleased.

It is testament to our legacy that despite all of the negative images that Eurocentric idealism has tried to throw on us – we continue to love who we are and love ourselves.

We are a unique, talented and creative people. And yes, this should be celebrated.

Black people deserve to have joy! I’m tired of people shaming us for exuding happiness, during what is definitely a defining moment in Black cinema.

No, Black Panther is not our key to freedom. No, Black Panther is not our liberation. I don’t think anyone thought we would suddenly be free from oppression based off of a movie. That’s not the point.

This film highlights the essence of Black cultural awareness, heritage and pride. It promotes positive and beautiful African imagery, with a compelling story line and an all Black cast. Additionally, the film promotes strong Black female voices in leadership positions. This is seriously impactful.

Furthermore, we don’t have to be 100% serious all the time. It’s actually healing for us to enjoy the moment.

So, dress how you want to dress. Act how you want to act. Have fun this weekend.

And I co-sign the message below by Kev On Stage: Let people live!

See y’all in Wakanda!

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: (L-R) Actors Sterling K. Brown, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, and Forest Whitaker; writer/director Ryan Coogler; Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige; producers Louis D’Esposito and Victoria Alonso, and executive producer Nate Moore at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Sterling K. Brown; Letitia Wright; Winston Duke; Martin Freeman; Angela Bassett; Daniel Kaluuya; Lupita Nyong’o; Chadwick Boseman; Michael B. Jordan; Danai Gurira; Andy Serkis; Forest Whitaker; Ryan Coogler; Kevin Feige; Louis D’Esposito; Victoria Alonso; Nate Moore

Also, read my article Black Americans Wearing African Clothing Is NOT Cultural Appropriation.

Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of Our Legaci Press. To reach Jessica, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.

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This Interview With Toni Morrison Never Gets Old

Toni Morrison Interview with Charlie Rose

In this old interview with Charlie Rose, Toni Morrison responds to a past question about if/when she will stop writing novels centered around race. She then responds with a bold answer about centering Blackness. Morrison explains that African writers, like Chinua Achebe, helped her to see the perimeters of writing without being consumed by the white gaze and how this was liberating.

The quote below hit home the most for me:

The problem with being free to write the way you wish to, with out this other racialized gaze, is a serious one for an African American writer.

Thanks to Anti-Intellect for posting this on Youtube!

Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of Our Legaci Press. To reach Jessica, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.

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