It’s impossible to talk about the events unfolding today with this double crisis we’re in - the virus and the widespread public outcry against racism within American law enforcement - without wondering how we got here and whether history can help us understand it.
The black experience in the U.S. has pushed our country forward culturally, socially and politically. But these achievements have happened against a backdrop of institutionalized oppression through economic and social policies such as Redlining, urban renewal and segregation that have led to poverty and inequalities in the health and wealth of black Americans. What the data, the statistics and the history tells us in everything from buying a house, getting a job and, tragically, even having a baby, is that it's much harder to do it if you are a black American. The pandemic both highlighted this disparity and made it worse.
In this episode, we speak with two MU history professors whose work sheds light on the historical context that’s shaping the events we’re in today.
Devin Fergus, the Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor of History and Black Studies. He examines political economy, public policy and inequalities in the U.S. Some of his research has looked at how financial deregulation has affected vulnerable populations. His current work looks at white collar crime and the racial wealth gap.
Jay Sexton, the Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy, and a professor of history. He researches political and economic history of the 19th century, situating the U.S. within its international context.
To hear the live show, tune in weekdays at noon. Also, you can leave us a voicemail at 877-532-0971 about how you are handling the current crises our region is facing and any questions you have.