Kicked to the Curb: 90-Year Old Woman Loses Her Home to Foreclosure

The city of Memphis TN. is rich in African American history. It’s black population quadrupled between 1860 and 1870 as new freedoms of emancipation took hold. Being the third largest city in the southeast (and 19th largest in the country) with a predominantly black population (62%), one can only imagine just how the current economic fallout has greatly affected the city, and its residents.

The national economic crisis spurred by greed via Wall Street and the bursting of the housing bubble, is currently felt by many here in the city. In fact, this city exists as one of many examples of just how the combination of rising black unemployment, the recession, and foreclosures, have all served to wipe away the gains of the black middle and upper class.

According to a recent study conducted by Queens College for The New York Times, the median income of black homeowners in Memphis, has receded to a level lower than that of 1990 – and roughly half that of white homeowners. Clearly, as unemployment lags during this economic crisis, things will continue to get worse for people of color,not only in Memphis, but nationwide.

In an example of just how corporate greed has displaced lives, comes the story of 90 year old, Annie Auston via local station WHBQ. Hers is a story that clearly shows that predatory lending does not discriminate by age; and yet, serves as another example of just how the wealth gap widens in America, and leaves people of color at a disadvantage.

The Obama administration is currently opposed to a national moratorium on foreclosures. I’m not sure if his position were different, that Mrs. Austin’s home could have been saved. However, I do know that had a moratorium been in effect within the first few months (or first year) of his presidency. Foreclosures would not be at astronomical rates as they are today. Last March alone, they were 47% higher than the previous year.