BOOK CORNER: Veteran journalists address racial wealth gap in new book

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap,” by Ebony Reed and Louise Story, is an informative new book that offers a narrative history of Black wealth and the economic discrimination embedded in America’s financial system.

The concept for the book began during 2020 while both Reed and Story worked for the Wall Street Journal. The pair engaged in series of conversations regarding the world, the workplace and their experiences and realized that they had the foundation for a book on their hands.

“Neither one of us had ever seen a book that had fully recorded out the Black/white wealth gap across history from the beginning to end, had current day living contemporary people in the book, and could address what the impact is of the gap on their lives today,” Reed said.

Within the book, Reed and Story chronicle the lives of seven families that are directly impacted by the Black/white wealth gap. The authors not only highlight the history of the wealth gap from enslavement to redlining to banking discrimination, but they also address specific topics such as the student loan crisis, entrepreneurship, generational wealth, bankruptcy and more. Reed and Story also provide personal recommendations aimed to help readers navigate the inequality. 

The authors’ goals with their book are to spread data, spur community conversations and to spread empathy.

“Common knowledge of data points can help resolve arguments and frame conversations,” said Reed and Story on their website. “Not enough people in our country know statistics about wealth gaps, and we would like to fix that. So, our number one goal is to spread data points.”

In addition to being authors, Reed and Story are journalists. Reed is based in Kansas City, Missouri and Story is based in New York City.

 For more information about the authors and their work visit 15cents.info, ebonyreed.com, and louisestory.com.

The authors are hosting a book reading and signing on June 24 at Chevalier Books, 133 N. Larchmont Blvd., at 6 p.m.

“Fifteen Cents on the Dollar: How Americans Made the Black-White Wealth Gap” is available for $32 everywhere books are sold. The authors are committed to donating the majority of the profits from their book to nonprofit organizations in the education, journalism, and women’s empowerment space, with a focus on Black Americans.

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