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A sweeping, deeply researched narrative history of Black wealth and the economic discrimination embedded in America’s financial system through public and private actions that created today’s Black-white wealth gap. 


Greenwood, a new digital banking platform headquartered in Atlanta, founded by and for Black and Latino communities in 2019, has deep roots in American history. It was named after the Greenwood business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known at the time as “Black Wall Street,” where in 1921 a white mob destroyed scores of successful Black-owned businesses, murdering and injuring hundreds of Black residents, in what became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre.


This was a significant juncture in the course of American history, but hardly an anomaly. Fifteen Cents on the Dollar details a number of these junctures where the American financial sector, government, or both made decisions that carried profound repercussions for Black Americans and their money. From the first enslaved Africans being traded on U.S. soil in 1619, to the passing of the 13th amendment in 1865 and the subsequent prison-industrial complex boom, to widespread redlining in the 1930s and reform failures in the 1960s, the 2008 Recession and the government’s overwhelming prioritization of white people in dolling out assistance, American history is rife with racial and economic injustice.


And though Greenwood’s success remains to be seen, a clear-eyed chronicling of the bank’s early days—and the historical circumstances from which it emerged—will provide new insights on American economic equity, Black business ownership, and models for widespread and lasting change. Authors Ebony Reed and Louise Story have shaped coverage on race and the American financial system at the New York Times, the Detroit News and the Wall Street Journal for decades; now, in Fifteen Cents on the Dollar, they tell the story of how these staggering injustices came to be, and how hope for America’s future is inextricably linked to our acknowledging its past.

Fifteen Cents on the Dollar.

Excluding Sales Tax
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