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Help an Ally: 'The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap'

All this week 13 ON YOUR SIDE is partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Library to feature books that educate readers about the history of racism in our country

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — We understand this is a time in which some are looking to do more than retweet a hashtag, share a post, or offer up a like.

Here at 13 ON YOUR SIDE, we stand with our black community and colleagues and would like to provide context and resources for those who would like to stand with them as well.

So this week we are showcasing titles that are part of Grand Rapids Public Library's "How to be a Good Ally" book list.

Tuesday morning, we featured "The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap" by Mehrsa Baradaran.

Baradaran is a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law who has advised a number of politicians on postal banking, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.

RELATED: Help an Ally: 'Stamped from the Beginning'

In her book, Baradaran challenges the long-standing idea that black banking and community self-help is the solution to the racial wealth gap.

In 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, the black community owned less than 1% of the United States' total wealth. More than 150 years later that number has barely budged. 

By focusing on this racial wealth gap she dives deep into the main wealth generator in black communities which are black banks. 

She pulls back the shades of past legislation and policies, emphasizing the idea that in order for communities of color to see the cycle of poverty come to an end, there must be more realistic views of banking's relation to black communities.

If you're interested in reading "The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap" you can head to your nearest library or download the audio book for free on Hoopla Digital with your library card!

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