What will Black America look like in five years? This is a question that many people have tried to predict in the past, and I honestly don’t know. My view of the future of Black America is somewhat skewed after having been a resident of Black Mecca for so long now. So much has changed in just the last two years, and after having come so far, the future does look bleak.
In the next 5 years the state of Black people in America will ____?
— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) November 14, 2017
“I don’t see major changes. Voting wise it’ll be the biggest voting time ever. On a political level, we’ll be way more aware and way more active.” – Westwood. P, local Atlanta artist and socialite.
Fortunately, there have been some positive outcomes in light of the 45’s term. A prominent example would be Alabama native Perman Hardy; a black, former sharecropper, who was responsible for the reason that a racist pedophile lost his bid for the Senate. According to an AL.com article on the woman, Perman Hardy has driven voters to the polls for 25 years. Hardy spent that day driving registered voters, who didn’t have transportation or needing physical help getting there, to polling stations for more than 10 hours. “Over the course of the day, she personally drove more than 50 people to polling sites across Lowndes County.” She personally told AL.com, “We’re in an epidemic poverty county so it’s so important for us to vote today. I took some people today who’ve never cast a ballot before.” If a 60-year-old black, former sharecropper from Alabama can have that much impact on such an important election, have that integral of a role in helping a democrat get elected to that Senate in Alabama for the first time in 25 years, I think we have hope for the next five years.
Hopefully the same can be said for the financial deficit of the black economy. Though some progress has been made in rebuilding our economy, we still have a lot of work to do. According to a Guardian article on a new study by Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies, “Black households are making ‘middle-income money’, but have the wealth of a white high-school dropout.” Despite an overwhelming increase in black income over the last couple decades, the study says that if current trends continue, “median wealth for black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053…”
The US is set to become a “majority minority” by 2044, meaning that vast economic turmoil is coming because, according to researchers, “the majority of US households will no longer have enough wealth to stake their claim in the middle class”. The country will be majority black and brown by then and if we don’t have enough wealth, we won’t be middle-class and without the middle-class, our economy will have no backbone. According to the study, “Black median wealth has never recovered from the 2001 recession, nor Latino median wealth from the 2008 financial collapse. White median wealth, on the other hand, was left unaffected in 2002, and began rebounding just two years after the speculative housing bubble began to implode.”
Black and brown took the brunt of that implosion. Blacks and Latinos were overwhelming the owners of these bad, un-payable mortgages because lax lending was encouraging, prompting the leap toward the standard-barrier of the “American Dream” home-ownership. More importantly, many of these shoddy lenders also targeted black and immigrant communities exclusively, making the likelihood of these bad mortgages being owned by black and brown all that much higher. Additionally, housing prices in these communities didn’t, and don’t, rebound as fast as in white communities. Despite all this, it’ll be up to us to teach our kids financial wellness and make sure there’s something left behind for the next generation.
I have to be honest. Being tasked with waxing poetically on the future of Black America is an impossible task. By living in Black Mecca, to some degree, I’m already living it. After living in New Orleans for five years before moving here, it’s clear, Atlanta is light-years ahead of any other Chocolate City. Everywhere you look in Atlanta you see black in all socioeconomic classes. Black serving you at McDonald’s; black interviewing you for a job; black pulling you over and giving you a ticket. Blended and interracial families in all colors are everywhere and black vegans run rampant. It’s like living in Oz. If Atlanta is the black future, I’m okay with that, but we’ll need to take Oz nationwide, and vote.
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