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Black asset ownership: Does ethnicity matter?

Research has shown that blacks are relatively disadvantaged when compared with whites on a host of sociological indicators including on income, education and occupational status. Recent research has shown blacks are not all equally disadvantaged. In some cases such as in the case of blacks in Queens County, New York, blacks surpass whites in terms of median income, especially foreign-born blacks. Yet, blacks fare worse when compared with whites on indicators of asset ownership. Despite that, some black ethnic groups including those with roots in the Caribbean or from Africa have been shown to have higher rates of home ownership and higher housing values than African-Americans. However, few studies include measures of asset ownership beyond these indicators when assessing the extent to which ethnicity matters for blacks. The present study examines the following research questions: (1) What factors explain variations in the likelihood of ownership and the levels of interest, dividends and rental income owned for blacks? (2) Is ethnicity a significant predictor for black respondents? (3) Does education and occupation matter more for some black ethnic groups than for others? The findings reveal that ethnicity plays a significant role in the acquisition and accumulation of interest, dividends and rental income, but it does not account for all of the variations observed for blacks. The findings shed further light on the complexities associated with understanding wealth inequality and racial and ethnic group variations.

The Battle over the Ex-Slave’s Fortune: The Story of Cynthia Hesdra

Few people are familiar with the name of Cynthia Hesdra. She was born a slave in the North During her lifetime though, she owned a successful laundry business and real estate in New York and New Jersey. She was also involved in the historic “underground railroad” station in Nyack, NY. She died at the age of 71 with a fortune estimated at around &100,000. By today’s standards she was a millionaire. Her family fought over her estate in a series of trials, which included a precedent setting trial involving handwriting analysis. The story of Cynthia Hesdra provided insight into the economic contributions of blacks in the North prior to the twentieth century. This article examines the life and times of Cynthis Hesdra and other blacks during her lifetime, using historic census data, court records, historic newspaper articles, and other sources. Initially, Cynthia Hesdra’s estate went to her husband, Edward, but the state would eventually take ownership of the ex-slave’s fortune.

A home of her own: an analysis of asset ownership for non-married black and white women

Race and gender are strong predictors of asset ownership including home ownership, self-employment and interest, dividends and rental income. Yet, seldom have the two concepts been linked in the socio-logical literature on wealth inequality. Additionally, potentially important determinants such as business income have often times been excluded from the analyses despite findings suggesting that business income may be an important indicator for racial and minority groups who would otherwise be regulated to employment in low status jobs in the secondary labor market.

The Effects of Racism and Racial Discrimination on Minority Business Development: The Case of Black Manufactures in Chicago’s Ethnic Beauty Aids Industry

In this paper, the historical development of Chicago’s ethnic beauty aids industry is examined from the perspective of black manufactures. The central argument of this paper is that the business strategies of black manufactures in Chicago’s ethnic beauty aids industry have been shaped by racism and racial discrimination in mainstream society from the industry’s inception to the contemporary period.