The U.S. middle class grew significantly during the 20th century in part because the nation put in place public policies (think housing policy, federally backed mortgages, the GI bill, etc.) that helped families access economic opportunity and grow wealth. But the harsh truth is that, by design, these public policies benefited white communities most and often deliberately exclude communities of color.

The Role of Family Wealth in Reinforcing Generational Divides
Institute for Policy Studies, March 4, 2019