The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

WRITTEN BY: Mehrsa Baradaran

NARRATED BY: Lisa Reneé Pitts


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15 hours 12 minutes
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When we think about the Emancipation Proclamation and the progress that has been made in the United States over the past 150 years, we might assume that the racial wealth gap has significantly narrowed. Unfortunately, that assumption would be wrong. In reality, the black community still owns less than one percent of the country's total wealth. Why has this disparity persisted for so long? Mehrsa Baradaran, the brilliant author behind our audiobook, "The Color of Money," seeks to answer this question by examining the role of black banks in generating wealth within the black community.

Black banking, it turns out, is a catch-22. While these institutions were intended to help black communities escape the grips of poverty caused by discrimination and segregation, they themselves fell victim to the very poverty they sought to overcome. In other words, the dynamics of depositing and lending prevented black banks from truly controlling the black dollar, ultimately draining black capital into white banks. As a result, the black economy was left with mere scraps.

Baradaran boldly challenges the prevailing belief that black banking and community self-help alone can bridge the racial wealth gap. She argues that these initiatives have, in fact, served as a political decoy, diverting attention away from the need for more substantial reforms and racial redress. By examining the impact of past policies and the functioning of banking in a segregated economy, Baradaran exposes the limitations of the current system. She convincingly argues that only by adopting a more realistic and comprehensive approach to banking's role in black communities can we break the cycle of poverty and promote true black wealth.

Narrated by the incredible Lisa Reneé Pitts, this audiobook is an eye-opening exploration into the complexities of the racial wealth gap. With a rating of 4.8 out of 5, listeners have praised both Baradaran's insightful analysis and Pitts' captivating narration. Join us for a thought-provoking 15 hour and 12-minute journey as we delve into the intricacies of wealth generation, systemic racism, and the quest for economic justice. It's time to challenge our preconceived notions and listen to the true stories that have been overlooked for far too long.

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