William Darity Jr.

William Darity Jr. is arts and sciences professor of public policy and professor of African and African American studies and economics at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

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
This 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—in particular the housing discrimination that for generations has denied African Americans access to the same generous mortgages that built so much of white wealth—have left black families with only six cents of wealth for every dollar held...

The Latino Flight to Whiteness

Based upon trends in racial self-classification, one has to be skeptical about the emergence of “majority-minority” America.

AP Photo/Orange County Register, Jebb Harris
prospect-debates-icon.jpg This is a contribution to Prospect Debate: The Illusion of a Minority-Majority America . Will the United States have a majority of people of color by the year 2050, as both researchers and the popular press commonly assert? Richard Alba urges skepticism because, he argues, U.S. Census policy overestimates the presence of nonwhites in the American population. As Alba observes, in mixed-race marriages where one parent is white and the other nonwhite, the Census uses a default rule of counting all the children as nonwhite, even though that is not necessarily how the children see themselves. The impact of Hispanic patterns of intermarriage supports Alba’s words of caution about claims of a new American racial majority of color. By 2011, according to a study by Wendy Wang of the Pew Research Cente r, 26 percent of Hispanic newlyweds married non-Hispanics. Eighty percent of third-generation Hispanics are the offspring of mixed marriages. The consequences for...