Circle your calendar for a special August 14 policy briefing by Dr. Andre Perry, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry has written on urban development and education for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Nation and in his weekly column for The Hechinger Report.

Dr. Perry’s upcoming book, Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, and its research have obvious relevance for Memphis. It analyzed majority-black places and institutions in America, focusing on highlighting valuable assets worthy of increased investment.

Know Your Price establishes new means of determining value of African American communities. The deliberate devaluation of African Americans 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, Dr. 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—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 African Americans’ 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.

This important conversation with Dr. Perry will take place from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, at Lemoyne-Owen College in Gibson-Orgill Hall, Room 111.

This event is free and open to the public.

It’s sponsored by the college and Neighborhood Preservation Inc., which expanded its public service to Memphis with the continuing, important conversations about the revitalization of Memphis neighborhoods.  These discussions inform, inspire, and mobilize actions to improve neighborhood health, remove blight, and stimulate revitalization with NPI’s systemic approach that drives fundamental change.

We spotlighted NIP’s crucial work in a March 27 post.


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