According to the Census Bureau, in 2020, just under half of Black people own their homes. This alarming statistic isn’t a result of our home buying power as a community. Instead, it is a function of deeper systemic issues.
From red-lining to frequent denial of housing loans, the housing system in this country was designed for us to fail. Even if a few of us successfully weave through the matrix of capitalism, that does not represent our common experience.
Ownership itself could be seen as a byproduct of white supremacy where property follows suit to exploitation and conquering of nations. Ownership could also represent Blackness. A home for us represents the hardships of getting it in the first place. So how do we wrestle with these two ideals?
Community is how we truly create something that we own. America encourages us to invest in the individual and buy the biggest home on the block. But what if we bought homes just to house Black people and build communities around it?
We must reimagine what property and ownership mean to our community. Working within this capitalistic system will only confine us to the rules it sets. We have to invest and build with each other away from it.