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Know Your Price

Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities

By Andre Perry
Cover: Know Your Price

Changing perceptions about the worth of African Americans and their communities

Know Your Price establishes new means of determining value of Black communities. The deliberate devaluation of Blacks and their communities, stemming from America’s centuries-old history of slavery, racism, and other state-sanctioned policies like redlining have tangible, far-reaching, and negative economic and social impacts. Rejecting policies shaped by flawed perspectives, the book gives fresh insights on these impacts and provides a new value paradigm to limit them.

In the book, noted educator, journalist, and scholar Andre Perry takes readers on a guided tour of five Black-majority cities whose assets and strengths are undervalued. Perry begins the tour in his hometown of Wilkinsburg, a small city east of Pittsburgh that, unlike its much larger neighbor, is struggling and failing to attract new jobs and industry. Perry gives an overview of Black-majority cities and spotlights four where he has a deep connection to—Detroit, New Orleans, Birmingham and Washington, D.C.—providing an intimate look at the assets residents should demand greater value from.

Know Your Price demonstrates through rigorous research and thorough analysis the worth of Black people’s intrinsic strengths, real property, and traditional institutions. All of these assets are means of empowerment, as Perry argues for shifting away from simplified notions of equality and moving towards maximizing equity.

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