During most of the twentieth century, each successive generation of black Americans came closer than their predecessors to matching the educational achievement and economic success of their white peers. However, the convergence in skills among children and in labor market success among adults stalled around 1990. The Chicago Workshop on Black–White Inequality is an effort to explore the reasons for the recent lack of progress for blacks relative to whites. Workshop meetings focus particular attention on the black–white gaps in reading, math, and other basic skills that appear to play such a large role in sustaining economic inequality. Because the economy of the twenty-first century places a high premium on cognitive skills, black–white economic inequality will persist as long as these skill gaps persist.