A new book by author and retired Harvard Business School professor Steven Rogers explores how white people can be better allies to Black communities by working to address wealth disparities.
In “A Letter to My White Friends and Colleagues: What You Can Do Right Now to Help the Black Community,” Rogers outlines the origins of the racial wealth disparity and provides solutions for bridging the gap.
Grounding his work with various sources, including data and historical research, anecdotes, teaching, and case studies, Rogers explains how white people can work with the Black community to achieve wealth equity.
Using the US as an example, Rogers makes the statement that eliminating the $153,000 wealth gap between Black and white people could solve 75% of the country’s problems, where his book offers real solutions to help improve relations between the two communities that can be applied both in the US and beyond.
One of the statements Rogers makes in the book is that white people should be encouraged to share their wealth with the Black community. An example he offers is allocating a portion of household budgets to buying from Black-owned businesses, which he believes will create more job opportunities for Black people. He also suggests that white people use Black-owned banks to strengthen the Black financial community and enable more Black people to access business loans and mortgages.
In his book, Rogers also encourages white Americans to support US government reparations to Black Americans, many of whom are descendants of enslaved Africans from 1619 to 1865.
Ultimately, Rogers’ book gives white readers an insight into the causes of racial inequalities in the US while offering practical advice on how they can actively contribute to reducing socioeconomic inequalities between Black and white people. In short, his book can be used as a resource for well-meaning anti-racists who want to help enact real change that goes beyond sentiments of allyship.