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“Black Heirlooms” Documentary Explores the Racial Wealth Gap

“Black Heirlooms” Documentary Explores the Racial Wealth Gap
MBL Editors

Black Heirlooms

In America the wealth gap between whites and blacks continues to widen.  The median white household income is $91,405 and the median black household income is $6, 446 according to recent Pew research data.

Therefore the average black household has accumulated less than one-tenth of the wealth of a typical white one.

Over the past 25 years, the wealth gap between blacks and whites has nearly tripled, according to research by Brandeis University.

A recent Harvard study called the widening wealth gap “unsustainable”. These stark realities are given a human face in the struggles of the Royal family as highlighted in a new documentary “Black Heirlooms”.

The Royals are a large extended African-American family of hard-working, educated members. The elder eight children as well as a growing number of grandchildren are all college educated, with many holding post-graduate degrees, yet they do not hold the same level of wealth a similarly educated white family would control. A large part of the gap in wealth is due to the value of home ownership in black and white communities. The land and property that white parents pass to their children generally has much higher value than properties in traditionally black neighborhoods that might be passed to future black generations.

In “Black Heirlooms” family relationships are fractured due to disagreements about how to administrate and divide a small inheritance of slightly above $51,000. The film stresses the importance of wills and estate planning as well as the importance of family discussions on financial goals within the black family.

You can find out more about screenings on the film’s Facebook page.