African Americans (descendant of slaves) were worse off financially in 2016 than they were in 2000.
The median income for an African American household was $39,490 last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. It was $41,363 in 2000. (Both figures are in 2016 dollars, so they have been adjusted for inflation).
African Americans are the only racial group the Census Bureau identifies that has been left behind. White, Asian and Hispanic households have all seen at least modest income gains since 2000.
The uptick in incomes for so many Americans helped lift the overall median U.S. household income to $59,039 last year, the highest level ever recorded by the Census Bureau. That figure surpassed the previous record set in 1999, during the last period of strong economic growth. Median household income means half of U.S. households earn more and half earn less. It’s an important indicator of the health of the middle class.
But the overall trend masks the fact that African Americans, as a group, have not recovered. The median income gain since 2000 for whites is $1,432 for descendants of slaves (African American) its -1,873.
African Americans are so poor that many of them do not even realize it. Living with so little and predominantly on credit, you will pass a poor black person in a leased vehicle, going on vacation, and nice clothing, without any resources to pass on to their children, but debt. This holiday they will fill the stores and lay away items they do not need and cannot afford.
The solution for the wealth gap may only be found in reparations for descendants of slaves. The average white person starts off with 87% of the wealth they need to live successfully, while the slave descendant starts in the negative. Political change is the only thing that will solve this growing epidemic.