Avid Bookshop presents author and UGA professor Mehrsa Baradaran for her latest book The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. This event will take place on Thursday, October 12, from 6:30p.m.-7:30p.m. at our Prince Ave. location. This event is free and open to the public.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, the black community owned less than one percent of the United States' total wealth. More than 150 years later, that number has barely budged. The Color of Money pursues the persistence of this racial wealth gap by focusing on the generators of wealth in the black community: black banks. Studying these institutions over time, Mehrsa Baradaran challenges the myth that black communities could ever accumulate wealth in a segregated economy. Instead, housing segregation, racism, and Jim Crow credit policies created an inescapable, but hard to detect, economic trap for black communities and their banks.
The catch-22 of black banking is that the very institutions needed to help communities escape the deep poverty caused by discrimination and segregation inevitably became victims of that same poverty. Not only could black banks not "control the black dollar" due to the dynamics of bank depositing and lending but they drained black capital into white banks, leaving the black economy with the scraps.
Baradaran challenges the long-standing notion that black banking and community self-help is the solution to the racial wealth gap. These initiatives have functioned as a potent political decoy to avoid more fundamental reforms and racial redress. Examining the fruits of past policies and the operation of banking in a segregated economy, she makes clear that only bolder, more realistic views of banking's relation to black communities will end the cycle of poverty and promote black wealth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mehrsa Baradaran is a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. She came to UGA from Brigham Young University, where she taught banking regulation, property and administrative law. During her time there, she was named the 1L Professor of the Year by the Student Bar Association.
Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks with the Harvard University Press and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (Harvard University Press, forthcoming). Baradaran and her book How the Other Half Banks have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker and Financial Times; on National Public Radio’s Marketplace, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and Public Broadcasting Service’s NewsHour; and as part of TEDxUGA.
Previously, Baradaran was an Academic Research Fellow at the New York University School of Law and practiced law in the financial institutions group at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City.