Journal: The Cost of Being Black

01 Poverty, 03 Economy, 11 Society, Cultural Intelligence


White Americans have long resisted the idea of reparations to the descendants of slaves.We examine the psychological basis of such resistance, primarily testing the possibility that resistance may be a function of Whites’ perception of the ongoing cost of being Black. White participants (n = 958) across twelve independent samples (varying in age, student status, and geographic location) were asked variations of the question: How much should you be paid to continue to live the remainder of your life as a Black person? Participants generally required low median amounts, less than $10,000, to make the race change, whereas they requested high amounts, $1,000,000, to give up television.

Phi Beta Iota: We were asked the other day if we had any idea what it meant to be black.  Then this caught our eye.  The short answer is no, being Hispanic, wealthy, and raised by servants cannot compare.  However, we take the question seriously and have read in this area. In the above study, it is clear that most white people, including poor white people, have absolutely no idea what it means to be automatically relegated to the bottom of the barrel with no way out.

Below are relevant books we share with the observation that America needs two Truth & Reconciliation Commissions: one for what it has done to its own Native Americas and enslaved people of color (as well as slaves serving today in the USA, mostly Asian women and Hispanic men as well as the black population imprisoned, essentially, for being black); and a second for what we have done to the Earth and Humanity in carrying on Empire as Usual.  It is what it is, but it does not have to be what it was.  The over-riding theme emergent on this web site and the materials that are being reviewed is that of Evolutionary Activism–Conscious Evolution–Multinational, MultiCultural Sense-Making.  All of this is non-violent and non-punitive.  We get a grip and move on.  Use the Reviews menu to explore more broadly, below is a very narrow selection of books reviewed, beginning with two by men of color that we particularly admire for their clarity of view.

Review: Democracy Matters–Winning the Fight Against Imperialism (Hardcover)

Review: Al On America

Review: The Covenant with Black America (Paperback)

Review: Off the Books–The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor

Review: Nobodies–Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy

Review: An Atlas of Poverty in America–One Nation, Pulling Apart, 1960-2003

Review: Imagery of Lynching–Black Men, White Women, and the Mob

Review: Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America

Review: Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Review: Teaching to Transgress–Education as the Practice of Freedom

Review: Waiting for Lightning to Strike–The Fundamentals of Black Politics

Review: Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era

Review: The Working Poor–Invisible in America

Review: The Cheating Culture–Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

Review: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order (Paperback)

Review: Pathologies of Power–Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor (Hardcover)

Review: Eco-Imperialism–Green Power, Black Death

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