I realized the other day that all my tenants are white. I’d never thought about my tenants’ racial makeup until I read an article by Washington Post journalist, Michelle Singletary, entitled, “The Legacy Of Slavery Made My Grandmother Fear Investing.”
Michelle writes how discriminatory policies of the past shaped the way her grandmother approached investing. Her series of articles provides an interesting personal perspective on why there is a racial income and wealth gap today.
Here are some passages from her article that stood out:
When my first employer introduced a 401(k) retirement plan, I sought advice from Big Mama. But she actively discouraged me from “gambling” in the stock market.
“That’s for White folks,” Big Mama said. “They can afford to lose money.”
“The legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and the New Deal — as well as the limited funding and scope of anti-discrimination agencies — are some of the biggest contributors to inequality in America,” says a 2019 report by the Center for American Progress
So, yes, it’s going to take more than a financial workshop to overcome the anxiety my grandmother lived with all her life and passed on to me.
There was only one investment that Big Mama trusted: her home.
The last line about Big Mama trusting only one investment, her home, really resonated with me.
This article will share some of the following insights:
- Why there are so many Asian landlords and small business owners
- Why real estate and small businesses are so highly valued among many minorities
- How the lack of equal opportunity changes behavior
- Where the belief of not depending on anyone but yourself comes from