Race And Gender Dramatically Affect Who Will Benefit From The “ American Dream”

Family walking on beach
Via Pixabay
Leslie Grover
October 30, 2022

The American Dream has always been about achieving financial stability through acquiring a good job, building savings, accessing education, and owning a home. But systemic racism has interrupted Black people’s ability to do any of these things!

Does the “Black middle class” even really exist?


Maybe. Historically, racial pay gaps and unemployment have prevented Black people from building wealth. Black people haven’t had complete access to either due to financial and educational discrimination. 

And these aren’t just a thing of the past.


Current racist policies and practices like hyper-surveillance in schools, overpolicing, and persistent financial discrimination continue to make middle-class access seem like a pipe dream. 

The data on Black wealth make this clear.

Black people make up less than 3% of the nation’s wealth, even though we’re 14% of the population. We’re making and saving less – even if we’re more qualified! Though a lucky few have made it, as a community, we’ve been forced out of middle-class stability at every chance.

Discriminatory systems, with deep roots in white supremacy and anti-Blackness, make it challenging for the wealth gap to be bridged. Maybe we should start dreaming our own dreams!

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