The disparity leaves many Black Americans without the funds to help offset the rising consumer prices and puts greater pressure on their monthly income, economists say. Some economists fear that if lawmakers don’t act soon to combat inflation, Black families may be forced to go without necessities as the threat of another recession looms.
“It’s going to be extremely devastating,” said William Darity Jr., professor of public policy, African American studies and economics at Duke University. “People will have to make very, very hard decisions about whether or not to purchase medicines or buy food or forgo payment of their utilities. It will have harsh effects on people’s well-being.”
Darity said the nation’s wealth gap has made is difficult for Black families to maintain financial savings or transfer wealth through generations like many White families have been able to do. He said racist policies such as redlining and depriving former slaves of land promised to them have historically set Black Americans behind.