The Racial Wealth Gap: Origins and Implications for Philanthropy in the African American Community

In this article, the author argues that any consideration of race and formal philanthropic activity must consider the issue of wealth differences; it is in the area of wealth that the greatest degree of racial inequality exists, with Black families owning about one eighth the assets of White families. In addition to this empirical rationale for investigating the role of net worth in accounting for Black-White differences in philanthropic activity, the author provides a theoretical argument, distinguishing between the role of income and that of
wealth in giving. The author concludes by arguing for a new research agenda that links the burgeoning literature on race and wealth to that on race and philanthropy.

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