Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap

Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap

by Louise Story, Ebony Reed
Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap

Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap

by Louise Story, Ebony Reed


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A sweeping, narrative history of Black wealth and the economic discrimination embedded in America’s financial system. 

The early 2020s will long be known as a period of racial reflection. In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans of all backgrounds joined together in historic demonstrations in the streets, discussions in the workplace, and conversations at home about the financial gaps that remain between white and Black Americans. This deeply investigated book shows the scores of setbacks that have held the Black-white wealth gap in place—from enslavement to redlining to banking discrimination—and, ultimately, the reversals that occurred in the mid-2020s as the push for racial equity became a polarized political debate.

Fifteen Cents on the Dollar follows the lives of four Black Millennial professionals and a banking company founded with the stated mission of closing the Black-white wealth gap. That company, known as Greenwood, a reference to the historic Black Wall Street district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, generated immense excitement and hope among people looking for new ways of business that might lead to greater equity. But the twists and turns of Greenwood’s journey also raise tough questions about what equality really means.

Seasoned journalist-academics Louise Story and Ebony Reed present a nuanced portrait of Greenwood’s founders—the entertainment executive Ryan Glover; the Grammy-winning rapper Michael Render, better known as Killer Mike; and the Civil Rights leader and two-term Atlanta mayor, Andrew Young—along with new revelations about their lives, careers, and families going back to the Civil War. Equally engaging are the stories of the lesser-known individuals—a female tech employee from rural North Carolina trying to make it in a big city; a rising leader at the NAACP whose father is in prison; an owner of a BBQ stand in Atlanta fighting to keep his home; and a Black man in a biracial marriage grappling with his roots when his father is shot by the police.

In chronicling these staggering injustices, Fifteen Cents on the Dollar shows why so little progress has been made on the wealth gap and provides insights Americans should consider if they want lasting change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063234727
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/18/2024
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 180,035
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Louise Story is a prize-winning investigative journalist who spent more than 15 years at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, where she was the top masthead editor running coverage strategy. Her work investigating corruption led to the largest kleptocracy case in U.S. history, a case known as the 1MDB case. Her work investigating Wall Street and the derivatives market led to a multi-billion dollar settlement. And her work investigating Goldman Sachs during the 2008 financial crisis led to that bank’s S.E.C. settlement. Projects she led received industry honors including Emmy Awards, and Pulitzer Prize finalist citations, and Online News Association awards. Louise’s film The Kleptocrats aired on the BBC, Apple and Amazon. She teaches at The Yale School of Management.

Ebony Reed began her career as a reporter at The Plain Dealer, covering Cleveland public schools, documenting public education’s inequities. The Investigative Reporters & Editors organization recognized her examination of how social promotion impacted the district’s majority Black and brown students. At the Detroit News, she managed the local coverage during the 2008 economic crisis. Now the Chief Strategy Officer at The Marshall Project, she has held other senior roles at the Associated Press, Boston Business Journal, and the Wall Street Journal. She’s taught at more than a half dozen institutions, including The Yale School of Management.

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