Andrew W Kahrl The Black Tax

Friday, April 12 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for a book talk with Andrew W. Kahrl, author of The Black Tax.

Join us for a book talk with Andrew W. Kahrl, author of The Black Tax: 150 Years of Theft, Exploitation, and Dispossession in America. A conversation with Margot Lee Shetterly will follow. This in-person event will be cosponsored by the Karsh Institute of Democracy and will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: In The Black Tax, Andrew W. Kahrl reveals the shocking history and ruinous consequences of inequitable and predatory tax laws in this country—above all, widespread and devastating racial dispossession. Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans acquired substantial amounts of property nationwide. But racist practices, obscure processes, and outright theft diminished their holdings and their power. Of these, Kahrl shows, few were more powerful, or more quietly destructive, than property taxes. He examines all the structural features and hidden traps within America’s tax system that have forced Black Americans to pay more for less and stripped them of their land and investments, and he reveals the staggering cost. The story of America’s now enormous concentration of wealth at the top—and the equally enormous absence of wealth among most Black households—has its roots here.

Kahrl exposes the painful history of these practices, from Reconstruction up to the present, describing how discrimination continues to take new forms, even as people continue to fight for their rights, their assets, and their power. If you want to understand the extreme economic disadvantages and persistent racial inequalities that African American households continue to face, there is no better starting point than The Black Tax.

About the Author: Andrew Kahrl is a professor of history and African American studies at the University of Virginia, where he specializes in the history of race and inequality in real estate and local tax systems in the US. His previous books include The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South (UNC, 2012), which received the Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians, and Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline (Yale, 2018). He also writes regularly for popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Boston Review.

The Black Tax will be released on April 12. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.

"It is impossible to overstate the significance of The Black Tax. It is quite clearly one of the most important books of our time, bringing out into the open the shocking story of how the tax system has functioned in the past and continues today to be a key generator of racial injustice and inequality."

—George Lipsitz

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