Culture Canvas: Calculating ‘The White Bonus’ / Bridge Detroit

Micah Walker, Bridge Detroit

Hey, readers! Welcome back to Culture Canvas. 

Detroit’s biggest event of the year, the NFL Draft, is only two days away. Whether you’re a diehard football fan, or someone who doesn’t care about sports, like myself, both groups will surely pack downtown for the three-day event. Below, I have a list of draft-related events happening throughout the weekend. If you’re not interested in all the parties and concerts, check out my suggestions for some of the city’s must-see cultural gems here.

For today’s story, I spoke with Detroit author and journalist Tracie McMillan. Her latest book, “The White Bonus: Five Families and the Cash Value of Racism in America” explores the monetary value of white privilege in middle- and working-class families in areas like homeownership, the prison and public school systems and health care. 

McMillan starts with her own life growing up in rural Holly, Mich., tracing the modest wealth three generations of her family were able to accumulate while relying on American policies that most benefited white people. She then offers a broader scope, sharing the stories of four other subjects across the country. 

I talked to McMillan about the conception of the book and why “White Bonus” is relevant more than ever with the upcoming election and political divisions in the country. 

McMillan told me that she wanted to have honest conversations about racism and white supremacy, so she figured she could get there by calculating the materialistic benefits racism has brought to her life.

You can read more of our conversation on the BridgeDetroit website. Hope you all have an amazing week!



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