Color of Money: Four myths about black wealth

Michelle Singletary on

Wills said his great-great uncle John Drew had to hire a white broker to perform stock trades.

Myth No. 4: Blacks don't invest.

Blacks may not have as much money in the stock market as whites, but they have had a rich history of investing. Their investment of choice has been real estate.

Real estate played a huge role in minting the fortunes of the black businesswomen and men featured in the book.

"Since Reconstruction, black people have, on average, invested a larger percentage of their net worth in real estate than any other group," Wills points out.

There's a good reason real estate was preferred.

For African-Americans, owning land -- after toiling tirelessly over it as slaves and then as sharecroppers -- was, and still is, a symbol of their liberation, he writes.

This book about black economic empowerment is a fascinating read of fortunes gained and lost.

I'm hosting an online discussion about "Black Fortunes" noon Eastern time on Feb. 22 at Wills plans to join me to answer your questions. Please join us.


Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook ( Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Ginger Meggs Barney Google And Snuffy Smith Mallard Fillmore Cul de Sac Family Circus Red and Rover