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My hypothesis is that generational knowledge plays a pivotal role in the accumulation of wealth. African Americans have a historical lack of engagement in financial markets, which can be attributed to a combination of historical discriminatory practices and institutional racism, and familial instability. These factors each contribute to the wealth gap between white and black Americans. The discussion lacks the multidimensional landscape that is required to understand it. Even within an economic context, the wealth gap cannot be explained nor understood without the context of American social structure, political influence, healthcare availability and more. I will begin to expand the conversation by raising notice of the importance of financial markets before diving into the historical context. Mapping the road that has brought us to such an enormous wealth gap. Following historical context, we will define generational wealth and then redefine generational knowledge. The idea of generational knowledge follows a very eurocentric model by which there is a mother, father, and children. It leaves behind the possibilities of alternative familial dynamics. We will use sociology terms to expand the definition and later further elaborate using financial socialization in the context of engagement with financial markets. Following the generational analysis, we illustrate the importance of homeownership and location. Connected to this concept, financial literacy and socialization add by contextualizing the influence that the community has on the family. Individual potential can be supported or dampened by early instability. Lastly, we will connect it all together, making clear the importance of intersectionality within the conversation of wealth accumulation for African Americans in the U.S.
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Sumpter, CeDaniel R., "The Power of Knowledge: The Relationship Between the Racial Wealth Disparity and Generational Transmission" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 189.
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