In that past decade or so, Black Americans have been particularly hard hit. There was the massive recession that hiked unemployment and decimated homeownership and personal finances—ruining the economic safety of Black people in particular. Then a rise in white nationalism during the Trump presidency. A seemingly never ending wave of police shootings of Black civilians. And now a pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black people.
Black people’s ability to survive and thrive in this country isn’t a matter of personal resilience, it depends greatly on the policies we put in place as a country. That’s why during election seasons, politicians often find themselves trying to appease Black communities with promises of change, reform, and greater support.
Here’s a selection of stories highlighting some of the issues that Black voters are (or should be) most tuned into at the moment, and that Capital B will be following.
What to read
Can Biden Shrink the Black-White Wealth Gap Without Canceling Loan Debt?: In this piece for Higher Ed, Alexis Gravely, takes a look at the Biden administration’s failure to include student loan debt cancellation amount its early priorities—and the profound impact such a move might have for Black Americans.
American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old—and Hanging By a Thread: In this 2021 piece from The Atlantic, Vann Newkirk II tells the story of the under siege Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law the year after his recently deceased mother was born.
As Texans fill up abortion clinics in other states, low-income people get left behind: In this 2021 piece for the Texas Tribune, Jolie McCullough and Neelam Bohra highlight how Black women will likely suffer disproportionately if Roe v Wade is overturned.
Relief bill is most significant legislation for Black farmers since Civil Rights Act, experts say: In this Washington Post piece from 2021, Laura Reiley highlights a portion of Biden’s American Rescue Plan targeted at helping Black farmers—who have suffered from a combination of land theft, climate change, and systemic racism.
Black workers, hammered by pandemic, now being left behind in recovery — In Politico, Megan Cassella reports on how the compounding disparities for Black Americans mean that the economic racial gap could easily grow larger.