Posted on March 5, 2020

The Rise of Black Businesses and Homeownership Won’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Dana Givens,, March 4, 2020

There has been a huge push to support black-owned businesses in the last several years from local initiatives, directories, and even social media pages dedicated to helping black consumers find businesses that cater to their demographic. Homeownership and business have always been a crucial part of the American dream but for many African Americans, it is usually a dream deferred because of the widening racial wealth gap in America.

While things may seem like they are becoming more progressive, the numbers tell a different story. The gap between white and black homeownership is larger today than it was 50 years ago and the wage gap is even wider than it was in 2000.

Almost every Democratic candidate has ending that gap once and for all as a part of their platform. {snip}

But recent studies have shown that it will take more than a home or a business to solve racial inequities. {snip} A report from the Brookings Institution found a correlation between positive reviews on Yelp and revenue growth for white businesses but not for minority-owned businesses. {snip}

Another factor is redlining, which has hindered black homeownership for years. Warren and Sanders have both promised to end redlining in black communities but the damage has arguably already been done. {snip}

{snip} This is where the conversation of reparations begins. Owning a home and business cannot undo hundreds of years of inequality and laws designed to strip people of their rights. Warren and Sanders are both co-sponsors of a bill to form a commission to study reparations with policies that actually work to finally closing that gap, including a reconfiguration of the finance and credit structures. Some believe that this is the only real solution to ending racial inequities in the country.