An explosive and deeply reported look at the systemic racism inside the American financial services industry, from acclaimed New York Times finance reporter Emily Flitter.
“[A] damning exposé of the essential racism of the American financial system…. A rousing body of evidence in favor of activist reform of financial practices, from ordinary loans to reparations.”
"[A] searing debut...This evisceration of Wall Street’s 'private, ugly reality' packs a punch."
In 2018, Emily Flitter received a tip that Morgan Stanley had fired a Black employee without cause. Flitter had been searching for a way to investigate the deep-rooted racism in the American financial industry, and that one tip lit the sparkplug for a three-year journey through the shocking yet normalized corruption in our financial institutions.
Examining local insurance agencies and corporate titans like JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, and Wells Fargo, The White Wall reveals the practices that have kept the racial wealth gap practically as wide as it was during the Jim Crow era. Flitter exposes hiring and layoff policies designed to keep Black employees from advancing to high levels; racial profiling of customers in internal emails between bank tellers; major insurers refusing to pay Black policyholders’ claims; and the systematic denial of funding to Black entrepreneurs. She also gives a voice to victims, from single mothers to professional athletes to employees themselves: people who were scammed, lied to, and defrauded by the systems they trusted with their money, and silenced when they attempted to speak out and seek reform.
Flitter connects the dots between data, history, legal scholarship, and powerful personal stories to provide an assiduously reported, eye-opening look at what it means to bank while Black. As America continues to confront systemic racism and pave a path forward, The White Wall is an essential examination of one of its most caustic contributors.
We recommend that guests wear masks on the night.
Emily Flitter covers banking and Wall Street for The New York Times. Before this, she spent eight years at Reuters, writing about politics, financial crimes, and the environment. Flitter holds an MA in Near Eastern studies and journalism from New York University and a BA from Wellesley College. She began her journalism career as a freelance reporter in Cairo. The White Wall is her first book.
In order to keep our events program running in uncertain times, we're asking attendees to hold their place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the event on any product in store or in our bar & café. You can alternatively reserve a spot by pre-purchasing the event book. If you have a change of heart or plans, write to email@example.com and we'll gladly refund you and release your spot, up to 24 hours before the event. Thanks for understanding, and for supporting your local bookstore.