cover image How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged

How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged

Kimberly Jones. Holt, $23.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-250-80512-6

Activist and YA novelist Jones (I’m Not Dying with You Tonight) expands in this searing look at racial inequality on a 2020 viral video in which she compared the impact of slavery and white supremacy on Black Americans’ socioeconomic status to a fixed Monopoly game. Jones recalls growing up on the South Side of Chicago during the height of the drug trade in the 1980s, hitting “rock bottom” as a single mother who couldn’t afford to pay both the electric and the gas bills, and how protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray inspired her first book. Turning to her Monopoly analogy, Jones explains how redlining prevented Black people from owning real estate and building generational wealth; discusses the Tulsa massacre and other historical instances when whites destroyed Black wealth; notes that many prominent U.S. companies, including Brooks Brothers, “began and made their name during slavery”; and cites a study claiming that Black people own just 2.6 percent of the wealth in America. It’s a succinct and persuasive argument, buttressed by Jones’s detailed outline for “Reconstruction 2.0,” which includes a “truth and reconciliation” commission and a federal agency modeled after the 19th-century Freedmen’s Bureau. The result is an impassioned and actionable call for leveling the playing field in America. (Jan.)