My father has always been interested in economics/money/business issues, and being a black man, has of course dealt with those issues as they intersect with race. So a couple months ago, when I saw that Latoya was reading a book called The Color of Wealth: the story behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide, I knew it’d be something he should read. So I recommended it, and he bought it, read it, and loved it. I wanted to read it, too, and by the time he was done with it – he definitely wanted me to read it.
So I started the book last month. It’s only 291 pages, so I could get through that fairly quickly – except for the subject matter.
The book begins with an overview: an introduction to the premise of the book, why it is important to look at the racial wealth divide in this country with a more critical gaze, and spotlights how ignorant most of us are about the facts behind the current state of US wealth. I could totally get down with this. I learned a lot, and got to laugh a little.
I was actually on a plane [with my mom] at the time, and I kept stopping to show her things, because it was so interesting.
Then I began to read chapter 2: Land Rich, Dirt Poor: Challenges to Asset Building in Native America. A few pages later I got to the section on colonization and treaty making, and I got tears in my eyes. I tried to keep going, but I couldn’t.
I put the book down and didn’t pick it up again for a month.
Dad kept asking me how things were going with the book, I kept telling him that I hadn’t really looked at it in a while. I told him how upset I was when reading about the atrocities of the US government against Native Americans. This one chapter was bringing out a lot of uncomfortable feelings for me.
Finally, last week, I picked up the book again. Made a little headway, and put it back down – still not done with chapter 2. This morning, I told myself to just read it and get through it…and to write about why it was so hard to do.