The past 40 years were the best times ever to be Black in America. But, is it still? While the size of Black underclass has tripled since the 1980s, a Black middle-class that was thought to be flourishing may have fallen on hard times. Studies show: “the wealth gap between White and Black American families has more than quadrupled over the last generation”.
What better man to have on such an issue than the richest Black man in America? Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of the RJL Companies says “a wealth gap Tsunami threatens African American families” and is calling for a national dialogue to get on the problem. In a presentation he made to members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Johnson advocated legislative activity on the issue. Johnson said, “We must admit the harsh reality of a history of institutionalized racism and economic discrimination against African Americans is the primary cause of wealth disparity between Black and White Americans and now we must be willing to talk about race recognition remedies”. He said: “I recognize that public policy based on race is extremely provocative and controversial but controversy should not prevent a reasonable dialogue about a societal dilemma that is real and economically devastating in its potential to millions of African Americans."