Black People Have An Average Net Worth Of $8 In Boston


A new report from the The Boston Globe's Spotlight investigative team of reporters has shown that racism and inequality are alive and well, as reports show the average net worth of black people in the city of Boston is $8 USD.

This is not a typo, nor is it a misprint; it's a well-researched fact. If this doesn't raise your eyebrows, this might: the average net worth of a white person in the city of Boston is $247,500 USD. That is 31,000 times more than their black counterparts. 

(Photo: Unsplash / Nathan Dumlao)

Spotlight analyzed data, coordinated surveys and conducted hundreds of interviews to determine the current status of African Americans in Boston.

The intrigue in the city comes from it being one of the most notoriously racist in the United States, as shown by firsthand accounts and an accompanying national survey commisioned by the Globe and conducted by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, that showed 54 percent of individuals surveyed rated Boston as the most unwelcoming city for black people in the united States. 

(Image: Chadwick Martin Bailey)

The information gathered by Spotlight is fairly simple when looked at from a purely data-driven standpoint. Using information from the Federal Reserve of Boston, Spotlight found that non-immigrant African-Americans in the Boston area had a median net worth of $8. "That means they owe almost as much as the combined value of what they own, be it a car, or house, or savings," Spotlight writes.

How can it be that in a city with such a rich cultural history, the disheartening gap between black families and white families can be so large? The answer is simple: rasicm.

In the early 1990s, tens of thousands of black migrants and refugees looking to flee the South and Jim Crow law made their way to Boston, where there was often tension, conflict and disapproval from the city's white population. 

In the 1970s, these tensions hit a peak, as Boston became one of pioneering cities looking to lower the levels of segregation within the city by implementing a school busing program that took black children and drove them to neighborhoods that, up until then, were thoroughly and completely white.

Naturally, since racists are going to do what racists are going to do, protests ensued and tension among the two races lingered. Many black students suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of white adults and children. Unfortunately, the busing program had adverse effects, ushering in a continued era of "White Flight."

Spotlight's report further shed light on the economic status of other race groups as well. The report also found that Caribbean blacks had an average of $12,000, Puerto Ricans have $3,020, and Dominicans have $0. 

If we put these facts up against the $247,500 in net worth of a white Bostonian, the facts are what they are. One racial group is exceeding at drastically higher rates economically while all others fall behind.

These statistics are consistent on a global scale as well. The median net worth of white families nationally is still 10 times larger than that of a black families. Not to mention 1 in 5 black people have a net worth of literally $0 on a national scale. 

For many, this just shows the work that still needs to be done in evening the playing field for POC in the United States so that we can all, for once, acquire that American Dream.