Darrick Hamilton

Darrick Hamilton is an associate professor at the New School for Social Research's economics department and at the Milano School, also at the New School.

Recent Articles

Campaign Challenge: Fix the African American Student Loan Crisis

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have proposed plans to ease the crippling debt burdening African American students, but their plans diverge in predictable ways.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, stand together before the start of the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami. T his year’s presidential race has spotlighted an often-overlooked aspect of the student loan crisis: the disproportionate college debt burden shouldered by African American students. The average $71,086 price tag for higher education at a four-year public institution is already well beyond the reach of most middle-class families. But for African American students, the cost of college hits even harder. The average college debt for African American bachelor degree holders is $37,000, compared with just $28,051 for the average student who is white. The problem stems from both and is compounded by racial disparities in wealth accumulation. The twin legacies of chattel slavery, when black people were economic assets, and discrimination...

Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty

There will never be a post-racial America if the wealth gap persists.

Despite an enormous and persistent black-white wealth gap, the ascendant American narrative is one that proclaims our society has transcended the racial divide. But wealth is a paramount indicator of social well-being. Wealthier families are better positioned to afford elite education, access capital to start a business, finance expensive medical procedures, reside in higher-amenity neighborhoods, exert political influence through campaign contributions, purchase better legal representation, leave a bequest, and withstand financial hardship resulting from an emergency. The wealth gap is the most acute indicator of racial inequality. Based on data from the 2002 Survey of Income and Program Participation, white median household net worth is about $90,000; in contrast it is only about $8,000 for the median Latino household and a mere $6,000 for the median black household. The median Latino or black household would have to save nearly 100 percent of its income for at least three...