Suggested Reading on Race & Economics by Shawn D Rochester Author of The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America

Jun 12, 2020

I have often been asked to provide a list of important books that can help the reader gain a better understanding of Race and Economics in America. A full list would actually be quite extensive and would also include a long list of research papers from many universities and institutions across the country. Instead of an extensive list, I have provided a much shorter one that is extremely powerful and transformative. These books will elevate your thinking and augment your understanding about race in America and put you in a better position to help develop the solutions that our country desperate needs.

If you are concerned that do not have time to read all of these books, please start with my book The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black In America. It is a quick and profound read that lays out the longitudinal and accumulative economic impact of Anti-black discrimination. It utilizes research from the finest institutions in the country to explain why Black people in America own just two percent of US Wealth after 400 years. Reading The Black Tax will fuel your desire to get even more information and create positive change. In any case, I encourage you to read the entire list because “once you see, you can not unsee”. If there are books that you have read on Race & Economics, that you believe are transformative please enter them in the comment section below. Many thanks and happy reading.


To better understand structural impediments to Black Wealth Accumulation read

1)  The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black In America by Shawn Rochester

2) The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran

3) The Color of Law: A forgotten History of how our government segregated America by Richard Rothstein

4) Black Labor White Wealth: The search for power and economic justice by Claud Anderson

5) The Economics of Discrimination by Gary Becker


To better understand race and economics in America and the impact of American slavery on the global economy read …

1) The Half has Never Been told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward Baptist

2) The Empire of Cotton by Sven Beckert


To Better understand the history of Black Business in America from the 15th to the 20th century …

1) The Encyclopedia of African American Business History edited by Juliet E. K. Walker

2) The History of Black Business in America Capitalism Race Entrepreneurship Volume 1 to 1865 (UNC Press) by Juliet E. K. Walker

3) The History of Black Business in America Capitalism Race Entrepreneurship Volume 2 to 1995 (Macmillan Library Reference) by Juliet E. K. Walker


To better understand behavioral economics and bias (i.e. systematic errors in judgement) read … 

1) Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

2) Blind Spot by Banaji and Greenwald


To better understand how the criminal justice system works in America read

1) The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander


To better understand wealth and income distribution and the ideologies that drive them on a global scale read …

1) Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty

2) Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty


To better understand the concept of whiteness, what is it and how it has evolved over time read …

1) The History of White people by Nell Irvin Painter


To better understand the transformation, contribution and erasure of Black Civilization in antiquity read …

1) The Destruction of Black Civilization Chancellor Williams

2) The African Origin of Civilization by Cheikh Anta Diop

3) Black Athena Vol 1 by Martin Bernal



About the Author – Shawn D. Rochester is the CEO of Good Steward LLC (GSL) and the founder of PHD Enterprises, and the IDEA Institute. These organizations provide financial education and advisory services to consumers, increase the presence of Black employees and enterprises in US public and private sectors payroll and supply chains, and facilitate commerce between the Black business community across the African Diaspora and on the African continent. Shawn has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The University of Rochester and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a focus in Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurship. He is the author of The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America and CPR for the SOuL: How to Give Yourself a 20% Raise, Eliminate Your Debt and Leave an Inheritance for Your Children’s Children. And can be reached at




Purchase your copy of the Highly Acclaimed Book The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America here

1 Comment

  1. Hi Jayne,

    I only have a paperback and ebook (ePub format) at this point. No Kindle or audiobook at this time. Thanks

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