NEW ORLEANS — In the special report WGNO Forward: Race in Our City, WGNO’s Tamica Lee and LBJ explore race and racism in our city, asking the experts where we are, how we got here, and what we can realistically do to make it better.
In Part 1 of this episode of WGNO Forward: Race in Our City, Andre Perry, author of Know Your Price, talks to Tamica about how racism works to devalue the Black community’s assets.
“I looked at home prices in majority Black neighborhoods and compared them to places where the share of the Black population is less than a percent,” says Perry. “And, what we found is–and this is after controlling for education, crime, walkability, and all those fancy Zillow metrics–we found that homes in Black neighborhoods on average are devalued by 23 percent, about $48,000 per home.”
Perry says that lost equity in the homes can make it harder to get loans to send children to college and start businesses.
“I say all the time that there is nothing wrong with Black people that ending racism can’t solve,” he adds.
In Part 2 of the episode, LBJ speaks with Ann Duplessis, senior vice president at Liberty Bank and former state senator, who says it is important for the Black community to have financial institutions they can trust.
“The first thing that would come to anybody’s mind when you have an African American who is looking to buy a home or start a business, the challenge is, ‘How do I get access to capital?'” says Duplessis.
She says it is important to increase understanding of how to get access to money and how to build relationships that will pay off.
In Part 3, Tamica interviews Swin Cash, the New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development. As a high-ranking executive, Cash says there needs to be more diversity on the decision-making level.
“I always have this thing where I don’t like just being the only woman in the room, when I actually am a lot of the times,” says Cash. “But, I think it is important for us, as not only a country, as a society to move forward, to understand there needs to be–diversity of thought is big. There needs to be multiple opportunities for women in sports.”
In Part 4, retired criminal judge Calvin Johnson and LBJ discuss racism in the criminal legal system.
“The societal ills that propel people into the criminal justice system remain,” says Johnson. “And, until we decide to deal with the reality of that, we will continue to have the same issues.”
Johnson says people in the criminal legal system must choose to be anti-racist.
“The justice system must become anti-racist in all aspects,” he says. “And, that is a commitment we must make to it. Firstly, therefore, is the recogniztion that we have operated a system in a racist fashion. That is a fact.”
You can see all the espisodes of WGNO Forward: Race in Our City on WGNO and WGNO.com.