Residents on a balcony of the Robert Taylor Homes, a low-income highrise apartment building in Chicago where the author's father lived (1945).

American Wealth Is Broken

My family is a success story. We’re also evidence of the long odds African Americans face on the path to success.
Interior of a Pullman dining car on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton R.R. (ca. 1894)

The Racist History of Tipping

Employers pay tipped workers $2.13 an hour. Why? Reconstruction-era racial discrimination.
A small group of demonstrators, led by Hosea Williams, center with beard, and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, stage a protest at Cape Kennedy, Fla., July 15, 1969, on the eve of the Apollo 11 moon mission.

While NASA Was Landing on the Moon, Many African-Americans Sought Economic Justice Instead

The billions spent on the Apollo program, no matter how inspiring the mission, laid bare the nation's priorities.
Linda Taylor, 49, the so-called

The Myth of the Welfare Queen

The right turned Linda Taylor into a bogeyman. But her real life was much more complicated.
A laborer at work on a sugar plantation in Puerto Rico (1917).

How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean

The expansion of banks like Citigroup into Cuba, Haiti, and beyond reveal a story of capitalism built on blood, labor, and race.
Depiction of an enslaved black woman nursing a white infant (1861).

George Washington’s Midwives

The economics of childbirth under slavery.
Smoldering ruins of African American's homes following the race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which whites burned down

Black People’s Land Was Stolen

Any discussion of reparations must include how this happened, who did it, and the laws, policies and practices that allowed it.
A bucket on indigo dye on a stone floor in Guizhou China, taken in 2007.

Colonialism Created Navy Blue

The indigo dye that created the Royal Navy's signature uniform color was only possible because of imperialism and slavery.
The Lehman Durr & Co. offices in Montgomery, Alabama, 1874.

‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery

If the play holds up a mirror to our moment, it is by registering slavery in a peripheral glance only to look away.
George F. Johnson.

The Square Deal

Some people called it "Welfare Capitalism." George F. Johnson called it "The Square Deal."
Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas.

Why The Racial Wealth Gap Persists, More Than 150 Years After Emancipation

When one system of economic oppression collapsed, new ones were created to fill the void.
A Betty Crocker recipe in 'The Ladies' Home Journal' (1948).

The Power of Corporate Interests Over Home Baking

Throughout the early 20th century, food corporations created advertisement campaigns directed at women.