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Atonement and ForgivenessA New Model for Black Reparations$
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Roy Brooks

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520239418

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520239418.001.0001

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Harms to Descendants

Harms to Descendants

(p.36) Chapter 3 Harms to Descendants
Atonement and Forgiveness

Roy L. Brooks

University of California Press

The racialized distribution of the poker chips—power, wealth, and privilege—continues to limit opportunities for Black Americans thirty years after the cheating stopped, with the passage of civil rights legislation. These assets are passed down intergenerationally. Some economists assess that up to 80 percent of lifetime wealth accumulation results from gifts from earlier generations, ranging from down payment on a home to a bequest by a parent. Therefore, power, wealth, and privilege are more than just comforts or tolerances. They create the starting point for the next generation. The starting point for each succeeding generation is necessarily racialized when power, wealth, and privilege are racialized. This is not to say there has been no racial progress over the decades. The fact is, important racial disadvantage—capital deficiencies—persists despite such progress. In addition, these capital deficiencies are rooted in slavery and Jim Crow.

Keywords:   Black Americans, legislation, economists, tolerances, generation

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