Blacks in Memphis are feeling the economic pinch. In the excerpt below, the New York Times looks into the changing economic landscape on the banks of the Mississippi:
For two decades, Tyrone Banks was one of many African-Americans who saw his economic prospects brightening in this Mississippi River city.
A single father, he worked for FedEx and also as a custodian, built a handsome brick home, had a retirement account and put his eldest daughter through college.
Then the Great Recession rolled in like a fog bank. He refinanced his mortgage at a rate that adjusted sharply upward, and afterward he lost one of his jobs. Now Mr. Banks faces bankruptcy and foreclosure.
“I’m going to tell you the deal, plain-spoken: I’m a black man from the projects and I clean toilets and mop up for a living,” said Mr. Banks, a trim man who looks at least a decade younger than his 50 years. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But my whole life is backfiring.”