From his various wage analyses in the early 1970s, Brimmer determined that the median income for Black families was just over 60% of the median white family income.
“I do feel that the economic plight of blacks is a serious matter,” Brimmer said to The New York Times in 1973. “So I bring the same economist’s tool kit to that subject as other economists bring to examine other national economic problems.”
Brimmer resigned from the Fed in 1974 to teach at Harvard.
He went on to found his own consulting firm, led the Association for the Study of Afro American Life and History, which preserves and promotes information about African American culture, history and life, and served on Tuskegee University’s board of directors from 1965 to 2010.
When he died in 2012, The Washington Post noted that Brimmer used his position to warn about the economic dangers of racial discrimination and to call for broader educational opportunities in urban areas. That was unlike other members of the Federal Reserve Board.
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Christopher Tounsel has previously received research funding from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Council of Overseas American Research Centers, and Doris G. Quinn Foundation.