Black Wealth in America

Amy S.
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This Juneteenth, we celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people, and recognize the inequality that exists for Black Wealth in America. Read to learn important statistics, and find out what you can do to close the racial wealth gap.

⚠ Trigger Warning: systemic racism, missed reparations for enslaved people.


We celebrate Juneteenth each year to mark the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the order to release all enslaved people under the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas, freeing 250,000 Black people, who were some of the last to be freed. 

The order was issued two years earlier, and meant freedom for an estimated 6-7 million people enslaved at that time. 

Abolishing slavery meant the beginning of a new life for the enslaved, but the impact on Black wealth in America remains today.

The Black Wealth Gap

For every $1 of wealth owned by white households, Black households own 25 cents. The compounding effect of wealth means that white Americans are 28 times more likely to become millionaires than Black Americans.

More stats are available in The State of U.S. Wealth Inequality by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

White Americans make up 64.1% of households in the U.S., and own 82.4% of the wealth. Black Americans make up 14.2% of households, and own 4.6% of wealth.

Lost Economic Opportunity

To date, no reparations have been made for the lost economic costs attributed to slavery, which total $15-16 trillion.

To add to missed economic opportunity, systemic racism impacts wealth-building and wealth-sustaining activities for Black Americans, including discrimination in hiring, pay, and financial services.

Call to Action: We encourage anyone in a position of power to look closely at what is happening at their company, organization, or community, to see how systemic racism may be impacting their Black members and employees, and what changes can be made to reach equality.

How Leaders Can Help Close the Black Wealth Gap

While the U.S. government decides if financial reparations will be made to the ancestors of enslaved people, organizational leaders don't have to wait to start making their own reparations.

If you’re in a position of power, do this:

  • Confront your own biases, and ensure your leadership team does the same.
  • Review hiring practices.
  • Analyze salary distribution and fix inequities.
  • Assess how work culture, policies, and practices impact Black employees.

How Individuals Can Help Close the Black Wealth Gap

Here are steps individuals can make to support the increase of Black wealth in America:

  • Buy from Black-owned businesses (search #blackowned on Instagram or Google 'black owned businesses in [my city]' to shop local).
  • Confront your own biases, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Don’t support organizations that prohibit Black wealth from growing.
  • Vote for leaders who recognize the impact of systemic racism, and a need to end it.

We built Bolder to address the wealth gaps that exist across multiple communities in America. We're dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized, and affordable financial guidance to help underserved Americans build wealth. 

While we celebrate Juneteenth today, we won't forget the work left to be done. We promise to take the steps above, as an organization, and as individuals fighting for economic equality. 

Thanks for reading,

Amy and Sid

Co-Founders, Bolder Money

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