Thursday, June 29, 2017

Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class

Crossposted from The Sixth Ward
[VIDEO] One of the main reasons why I started The Sixth Ward was to in some way highlight the middle-class aspects of the 6th Ward as it was drawn between 2002 to roughly 2015. Chatham isn't the only community with a solidly Black middle-class population, but it has often been considered a bastion of the Black middle-class.

This documentary was mentioned on the ig profile for the new owners of the former Seaway National Bank - Self-Help FCU - doing a quick mention of this documentary Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class. It's available for viewing either on pbs.org or you can watch it through the PBS app available on iPhones & iPads and likely Android also.


It's a great history Blacks came from sharecroppers and then reached some form of a middle-class through entrepreneurship, trades, manufacturing, even as government workers. Although as I've learned overtime with this blog having taken an interest in the issues of the middle-class being white middle-class is often different than being Black middle-class. One difference is certainly the wealth gap:
Nearly 40 percent of black children are poor, and for every dollar of wealth in the hands of the average white family, the typical black family has only a little more than a nickel.
Also mentions which is also part of this wealth gap is the great recession and how many Black families are still digging out of it. Just think as Barack Obama took the reigns as President of the United States many Black neighborhoods here in Chicago were feeling the crisis of foreclosure.

Also noted how if one bought a home in a solidly Black populated area the values of the home would be devalued compared to a home in a white populated area. If both areas are considered solidly middle-class where people generally take care of their property there would still be a difference as far as value based upon the majority race.

With that being said is the path different for those people who seek to join the ranks of America's middle-class? What held an earlier generation back at least 50-60 years ago may not be a major factor at the start of the 21st century.

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