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Presentation I Created: Black History in the U.S.


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This is a presentation I compiled over several years tracing the history of black social and economic equality. I delivered the presentation to a range of audiences interested in understanding the roots of the social challenges we see in the black community today.

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Presentation I Created: Black History in the U.S.

  1. 1. Why do we study history?• “Once you see that the conditions that were in are directly related to our lack of knowledge concerning the history of the Black man, only then can you realize the importance of knowing something about the history of the Black man.”  Malcolm X (1960’s)• “. . . Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research. And when you see that youve got problems, all you have to do is examine the historic method used all over the world by others who have problems similar to Malcolm X yours. Once you see how they got theirs straight, then you know how you can get yours straight.”  Malcolm X (1960’s)
  2. 2. 15 million Africans were transported across theAtlantic Ocean between 1500 and 1870 • Portuguese colony (Brazil): ~4 million • Spanish Empire: ~3 million • British West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, others): ~2.5 million • French West Indies (Haiti, others): ~2 million • British Colonies/ United States: 650,000Source: Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade. Simon and Schuster, 1997. 2
  3. 3. The slave trade was driven by economic profits associated with the trade of colonial goods • An outfitter would gather capital from investors under a quasi-equity arrangement by selling ship shares • Goods for trade with Africa would be purchased with the equity - Muskets and manufactured goods such as cloth or alcohol • The ship would go to Africa, sell its goods, and buy slaves with the money raised from its sales • The African slaves would be brought to the Americas and the West Indies and sold for money or traded directly for goods - Colonial goods consisted primarily of sugar but also coffee, cotton, and tobacco • Internal rate of return estimated between 5%-25% In 1800, a prime field worker, an adult male in his twenties, could fetch Up to 500 slaves $500 at most slave would be chained into auctions (~$8,000 in the holds of slave current dollars) ships in deplorable conditions that resulted in mortality rates of 30%Source: “Profitability of Slave and Long Distance Trading in Context: The Case of Eighteenth Century France” - Guillaume Daudin (2004);“Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle” - Manning Marable, Leith Mullings 3
  4. 4. Chattel slavery in America stripped slaves of any real rights • While forms of bondage existed in some of the societies from which Africans were captured, chattel slavery – in which individuals surrendered all rights and became solely the property of their owners – rarely existed in Africa • Slaves were stripped of any real rights: - Not permitted to travel without permission from their masters - No right to a family (one in three marriages was broken by sale, one half of children separated from at least one parent) - No freedom of assembly - Curfews at night - In most states, it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write - No right to vote or claim access to any civil liberties - Could not testify against whites in court Former slave from Louisiana who - Rape of an enslaved woman was not generally escaped to Union lines (1863). The considered a crime most common tool of discipline administered by southern whites was - No slave had a legal right to self-defense the whip.Source: “Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle” - Manning Marable, Leith Mullings 4
  5. 5. Slavery underpinned the economy of the UnitedStates throughout the 18th and 19th centuries• Profits generated by the system of slave labor within the country were enormous, affecting nearly every aspect of American society - Plantation economy in the South - Textile economy in the North - Northern banks and commercial institutions that loaned money to cotton merchants - Insurance companies that issued life insurance policies on slaves - Major universities that established their endowments with the profits of the slave trade - Buildings and infrastructure that were built with slave labor (White House, Capitol Building)• The vast majority of whites, even in the South, did not own slaves but the overwhelming majority of white Americans, who did not directly profit from enslavement, nevertheless believed Enslaved African Americans in South Carolina (1860) in the legality and morality of keeping millions of human beings in bondage 5
  6. 6. In the 70 years following the ratification of the Constitution, the North and South divide widened Dred Scott Decision (1856) • “[Blacks] are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizen’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race” (1856)  Robert Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court writing on the Dred Scott ruling which stripped blacks of political rights Robert Taney Secession of the Confederate States of America (February, 1861) • “The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions, - African slavery as it exists amongst us, the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.” (1861) • “[Our new government’s] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.” (1861)  Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy during the American Alexander Stephens Civil WarSource: “An Historical Research Respecting the Opinions of the Founders of the Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers” – 6George Livermore (1862)
  7. 7. Civil War broke out 1861 and the North’s victoryresulted in significant gains in civil rights for blacksCivil War breaks out (April, 1861) and is won by the North (April, 1865)• “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it.”  Abraham Lincoln, President of the United StatesEmancipation Proclamation frees slaves in Confederate States (January, 1863)• Primary goal was to weaken the Southern rebellion Abraham Lincoln13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishes all slavery (December, 1865)• Blacks pressure for the creation of a new democracy, a new social contract14th Amendment provides a broad definition of U.S. citizenship (July, 1868)• Overturns the Dred Scott case, which excluded African Americans from citizenship15th Amendment secures blacks right to vote (February, 1870)• 20 African Americans elected to the House of Representatives and 2 African Americans elected to the Senate Solider of the UnionCivil Rights Act of 1875 (February, 1875) infantry (1862-1865)• Guarantees that everyone, regardless of race, is entitled to the same treatment in "public accommodations" (inns, public property on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement) 7
  8. 8. The early years of Reconstruction after the civil warsaw rises in education and wealth among blacks• Education became an immediate priority among the black community - 95% of the black population was illiterate - “Few people who were not right in the midst of the scenes [during reconstruction] can form any exact idea of the intense desire which the people of my race showed for an education.” Booker T. Washington (1903) Technical-drawing class at the  Booker T. Washington, founder Hampton Institute (1900) of the Tuskegee Institute• Forty Acres and a Mule - Masses of African Americans promised “forty acres and a mule” along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia  Special Field Orders, No. 15, issued January 16, 1865 by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman - Later revoked by President Forty acres and a mule Andrew Johnson Forty acres and a mule 8
  9. 9. Support for Reconstruction subsided and the newstructures of a biracial democracy were dismantled• Presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed and intense presidential elections in American history - Democrats agreed to let Rutherford Hayes become president if federal troops were removed from the South, and if the “Negro Question” was permitted to become, once again, a “Southern Question”• African Americans began to be ejected from the Presidential election of 1876 results map. Blue governmental and political process denotes states won by Hayes/Wheeler, Red - Voting laws changed to require literacy tests, poll denotes those won by Tilden/Hendricks. tax, and other restrictions - Adoptions of state constitutions that eliminated African American voters• Major Supreme Court rulings: - Civil Rights Act deemed unconstitutional (1883) - Plessy v. Ferguson legalizes racial segregation of public institutions (1896)  White students received 5-12 times the funding per capita as black students  Over 80% of African American public school Homer Plessy, a Creole of European and African descent children were enrolled in the 1st 4 grades 9
  10. 10. “Jim Crow” laws were enacted to enforce racialsegregation South• Pervasive pattern of racial discrimination that touched virtually every aspect of daily life for African Americans - Blacks prohibited from staying in hotels or eating in restaurants - Denied access to public libraries - Blacks could not attend white churches - White-only covenants made it illegal for blacks to buy homes in white neighborhoods - Public toilets, water fountains, bus and train terminals were strictly segregated - Had to use service entrances or rear stairwells to enter public buildings Segregated bus in Birmingham, Alabama (1930) - Restricted seating on public transportation• Cruelest manifestations placed upon the shoulders of black women - Virtually all adult black women in rural areas continued to labor in the fields - In urban areas, black women were employed as domestic servants - Often separated from their children, husbands, and families for months and even years - Rape and sexual exploitation by their white Domestic worker in the South (1900) employers was not infrequent 10
  11. 11. Violence against blacks was used to retain andenforce white supremacy• Vigilante groups such as the Ku Klux Klan began to carry out attacks against black churches, schools, and public officials• Lynching - Thousands of African Americans were lynched across the South in the last decade of the nineteenth century and first two decades of the 20th century - A number of African Americans were burned Lynching in Omaha, Nebraska where a white mob shot an African American over alive at the stake 1,000 times and mutilated him before burning his body (1919) - Sometimes thousands of Lynching of Lynching of whites would festively Garfield five African gather to witness the Burley and Americans in tortures and executions of Curtis Brown Salisbury, in Newbern, North black victims Tennessee Carolina (1902) (1906) 11
  12. 12. From 1915-1930, large numbers of AfricanAmericans migrated North in the Great Migration• As of 1900, 90% of blacks were located in the South - Comprised 50% of South’s total population• By 1950, 67% of blacks lived in the South and 17% lived in urban areas• Factors driving the Great Migration North: - The cotton market collapsed in 1914-15 as U.S. merchants were unable to export goods to Europe during World War I Cotton pickers in Louisiana (1890s) - Infestation of the boll weevil destroyed millions of acres of cotton - Oppressive conditions in the South• Urban communities housed the influx of African Americans where blacks faced persistent discrimination - Banks limited blacks’ access to credit and capital - Real estate firms refused to sell homes to blacks in predominantly white districts - Despite these restrictions, life improved and the average life expectancy doubled UNIA rally in Harlem, New York (1924) between 1900 and 1950 12
  13. 13. Racial discrimination led to the formation of blackurban ghettos in the North from 1900-1940• Urban communities housed the influx of African Americans where blacks faced persistent discrimination• The initial impetus for the formation of the black ghetto came in the form of racial violence against blacks living in integrated neighborhoods - Between 1900-1930, periodic outbursts of mob violence would be interspersed with sporadic incidents of rock-throwing, gunshots, cross burnings, physical attack, and home bombings• After the 1920’s, racial discrimination in housing became more civilized and institutionalized - Neighborhood improvement associations instituted racially restrictive housing covenants and city council ordinances legalized segregation (both were later struck down by the Supreme Court) - Banks limited blacks’ access to credit and capital, particularly after the Federal Home Owner’s Loan Corporation established “redlining” of ghetto neighborhoods as “high risk” in 1935 - Real estate firms practiced “blockbusting”, keeping blacks from moving into white residential areas until HOLC “Redlining” Security Map of Philadelphia (1937) they filled black neighborhoods solidly and then reaping huge profits by scaring off whites in new neighborhoods with the threat of “black invasion” 13
  14. 14. Federal subsidies fueled white flight to the suburbsand further concentrated blacks in urban ghettos• The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veterans Administration (VA) during the 1940’s and 50’s created loan programs that together completely reshaped the residential housing market of the U.S. - Guaranteed the value of collateral for loans made by private banks so that down payments of 10% and extended repayment periods to twenty-five or thirty years became the norm - Required a professional appraisal of insured Block of slum houses with outside toilets and water properties, which included a rating of the supply “redlined” in Washington D.C. (1935) neighborhood and took into account lot size and separation from existing structures  Essentially eliminated from eligibility many inner-city dwellings, notably row houses and attached dwellings - The vast majority of FHA and VA mortgages went to white middle-class suburbs• Middle-class whites demanded and got massive federal investments in highway construction that permitted rapid movement to and from central cities by car FHA Housing in San Diego, CA (1941)Source: Massey, D., & Denton, N. (1993). American Apartheid. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 14
  15. 15. African Americans were increasingly segregatedinto a core of solidly black neighborhoods Isolation index: the % of blacks in the ward of the average black citizen• In no U.S. city in the • A value of 100% indicates complete segregation/ghettoization 1800’s was there • A value under 50% means that blacks are more likely to have whites than anything resembling a blacks as neighbors black ghetto Boston Chicago 100% 100%• The average level of 89% black segregation more 80 80 70% than doubled between 66% 60 60 1930 and 1970, going from 32% to nearly 74%. 40 40• Population densities 20 19% 20 within the ghetto 9% 8% increased to new, often 0 1890 1930 1970 0 1890 1930 1970 incredible heights New York Los Angeles - From this time forward 100% 100% African Americans in large 80 80 74% northern cities were effectively removed – 60 60% 60 socially and spatially – 42% from the rest of American 40 40 society 26% 20 20 4% 3% 0 0 1890 1930 1970 1890 1930 1970Source: Massey, D., & Denton, N. (1993). American Apartheid. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 15
  16. 16. Blacks who settled in the North began forming aworking class through organized labor• Most unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) either restricted black membership to a minimum or prohibited blacks from becoming union members at all - The development of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1935 resulted in substantial numbers of African Americans acquiring union jobs Hudson River workers (1924) Pullman sleeping car porter (1942)• A. Philip Randolph, an African American, organized the Brotherhoood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first black union to A. Phillip Randolph in successfully negotiate a labor Harlem with the agreement with a white Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car corporation, the Pullman Porters, an African American Company labor union (1925) 16
  17. 17. New urban centers of black America fostered anawakening of African American arts and culture• Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and 30’s - Celebration of black dignity and creativity - Poets, novelists, and writers such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Claude McKay - Urban age produced a strikingly modern new musical genre, jazz, based on black American musical expression and improvisation Langston Hughes and other Harlem Duke Ellington, the most popular Renaissance intellectuals in Harlem, jazz band leader, at New York’s• Breaking the color barrier: New York (1924) Cotton Club (1930s) - First African-American heavyweight boxing champion: Jack Johnson (1908) Jackie Robinson hitting a home - First African-American millionaire: run for the Madame C. J. Walker (1910) Brooklyn Dodgers (1947) - First post-Reconstruction African- American elected to U.S. House of Representatives: Oscar Stanton De Priest (1928) - First African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era: Jackie Robinson (1947) 17
  18. 18. Growing wealth in the African American communitydivided blacks between nationalism and assimilation• Rise of black nationalism - Marcus Garvey  Inspired by Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of self-help  Espoused a militant program of “Africa for the Africans, at home and abroad”  Opposed racial integration with whites  Founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) based in Harlem• Growing black middle class - Many black professionals came to identify their Marcus Garvey in a parade of the Universal Negro goals with their assimilation within the Improvement Association (UNIA), Harlem, New York (1924) mainstream of American life as it existed in order to achieve the “American Dream”• Pragmatic and reformist NAACP W.E.B. Du Bois - W.E.B. Du Bois (NAACP secretary) and the in the office of NAACP rejected Garvey’s racial separatist the NAACP magazine The philosophy as counterproductive Crisis, New York - Variety of legal efforts: City (1920)  Anti-lynching legislation  Court challenges to attack separate-but- equal policies in public and higher education  Step by step the legal basis for segregation was being overthrown 18
  19. 19. The roots of inequality in education arose from“race neutral” policies in the context of segregation• Racial segregation led to overcrowding in urban black schools and the implementation of “double-shift” school days that decreased classroom time• Decisions by the school district to tier vocational education programs had racially disparate consequences for the district’s black students - Blacks became disproportionately represented in lower-tier vocational schools Ida B. Wells housing project in Chicago, Illinois being used• Decisions to favor “social promotion” and to alleviate overcrowding in the kindergarten classes (1942) lax grading criteria over specialized remedial education led to low black student achievement - Model broke down in inner-city schools where the scale of students needing remediation was overwhelming• The authority of the teachers and the engagement of students was undermined by student and parent perceptions of inequality and white insensitivity School overcrowding in Chicago (1965)Source: Neckerman, Kathryn. 2007. “Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education.” 19
  20. 20. Contemporary African American history begins withtwo events that sparked the Civil Rights Movement• On May 17, 1954 in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the legality of racially segregated schools in the Brown v. Board of Education decision• On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a respected seamstress and NAACP activist, refused to relinquish her seat to a white man while riding on a segregated public bus in Montgomery, Alabama and was Nettie Hunt and her daughter Nickie sit on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, after the high courts ruling in the arrested Brown vs. Board of Education case that segregation in public - On Monday, December 5, over 95 schools was unconstitutional (May 1954) percent of all blacks refused to ride the buses and met that evening to Rosa Parks being decide to continue the nonviolent fingerprinted after her arrest protest indefinitely (1956) - The Montgomery Improvement Association was formed and a young, little-known Baptist minister, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was selected as its chief spokesperson 20
  21. 21. African American national political groups foughtfor civil rights through different methods• The small professional class usually favored the moderate approaches of the NAACP and the even more conservative National Urban League• The African American religious community and faith-based institutions provided the necessary resources to King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - Practiced civil disobedience mass campaigns, designed to mobilize church Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy being arrested in Birmingham after a sit-in (1963) congregations to pack the jails, economic boycotts, peaceful civic disruption• To the left politically were the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) - Launched through the sit-in student protests during 1960 - SNCC was racially integrated and used sit-ins and “freedom rides” to challenge Jim Crow laws as well as conducting voter registration drives “Freedom Riders” bus set on fire by a white mob (1961) 21
  22. 22. The efforts of the Civil Rights Movement resulted insignificant gains for African Americans• Civil rights act of 1964 - Prohibited the exclusion of blacks from all public facilities and accommodations - Outlawed the use of federal funds to maintain or support educational institutions that practiced segregation• 24th Amendment to the Constitution and Voting Rights Act - Abolishing the poll tax on voting throughout the country - Direct federal examination of local voting registration processes• Expanding Black middle class - Number of African American white collar workers almost doubled between 1960 and 1970 - Number of blacks in professional and technical positions more than doubled - Percentage of young blacks attending Elizabeth Eckford in front of Little Rock Central High School college jumped from 7% in 1960 to walking to her first day of school after desegregation (1957) 16% in 1970 22
  23. 23. The victories of desegregation did not do much toimprove life for the masses of urban poor blacks • Urban unrest in the North - 81% of blacks now lived in cities, making them the most urban population of any ethnic group - Black ghettos were characterized by substandard, overcrowded housing and high unemployment rates - The disparities between the urban ghetto and affluent middle-class America finally produced a series of urban uprisings drawing their energy from the alienation and anger of the most marginalized sectors of Civil unrest in Detroit during the “long, hot summer” society of 1967  In the first nine months of 1967 alone, there were 164 civil disorders across the country  In the aftermath of King’s assassination, thousands of blacks protested by destroying white-owned businesses and private property • White flight - Millions of upper and middle class whites fled America’s cities and relocated to predominantly white suburbs Aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination in Atlanta (1968) 23
  24. 24. Urban unrest gave rise to the black powermovement of the late 1960’s early 1970’s• The Black power movement dominated African American politics and social activism from 1966 to 1975 - Black economic nationalism: Building black businesses, black ownership, all-black communities - Black religious nationalism: Reflected in the Nation of Islam through racial separation and selective elements of traditional Islam - Black cultural nationalism: Emphasizing the role of African identity and heritage Malcolm X addressing a Black Muslim rally in Harlem, New among black Americans York (1963) - Revolutionary black nationalism: Represented by groups like the Black Panthers that combined a Marxist political critique of both class and racial inequality, favoring solidarity with third world countries and the Vietnamese liberation struggle against the U.S. - Black political nationalism: Reflected in the collective efforts by thousands of black activists who ran for elective office on political platforms promising to channel resources and economic benefits to inner- Members of the Black Panthers demonstrating outside the city neighborhoods courthouse, New York City (1969) 24
  25. 25. Public housing became a federally fundedinstitution that isolated families by race and class• The passage of the Housing Act of 1949 instituted and funded the urban renewal program designed to eradicate urban slums - Public housing was now meant to collect the ghetto residents left homeless by the urban renewal bulldozers - A new lower-income ceiling for public housing residency was established by the federal Public Housing Authority, and Making way for urban renewal in Boston (early 1950s) families with incomes above that ceiling were evicted• Since the smaller suburban communities refused to permit the construction of public housing, the units were overwhelmingly concentrated in the overcrowded and deteriorating inner-city ghettos• Public housing reduced the class diversity of the ghetto and brought about a geographic concentration of poverty that was previously unimaginable Bromley Heath Housing Project in Boston (1970’s)Source: William J. Wilson. 1996. When Work Disappears. New York: Alfred Knopf. 25
  26. 26. In the Post-Civil Rights era, huge districts of major U.S. cities became desperately poor • Chicago’s South Side, East New York High School Graduation Rate (1990s) in Brooklyn and the South Bronx, South 100% Central L.A., East Oakland, and nearly all of Detroit 80 77% 75% • Millions survived in the informal 60 economy, 53% 50% generating subsistence income 40 through activities as diverse as braiding hair, childcare, 20 catering food, auto repair, moving, etc. Chicagos Robert Taylor Homes were • High School once the largest housing project in the 0 Asian White Hispanic Black graduation rates for world. These massive, stone and steel high-rises along on Chicagos South black youth side were known as the ghetto, a hotbed of gang and drug activity. For significantly lag other some 27,000 people, it was home. racial groupsSource: National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 reports. Note: Data shown for a specific cohort of students (1988 eighth graders). “Comingof Age in the 1990s: The Eighth-Grade Class of 1988 12 Years Later,” “Two Years Later: Cognitive Gains and School Transitions of NELS:88 EighthGraders,” “A Profile of the American Eighth Grader: NELS:88 Student Description Summary.”; Bridgespan analysis 26
  27. 27. Such widespread poverty fostered a new form ofsocial devastation: trafficking in illegal drugs • In the early 1980s, a new highly Breakdown of illicit drug users and persons sentenced due to drug offenses by race, 1998 addictive product, “crack”, a rock- type of cocaine, was introduced into 13.3M 0.2M 100% inner-city neighborhoods Hispanic • With the decline in employment Hispanic and educational opportunities, 80 Black some young people saw selling drugs as the only way to make a decent income 60 • Violence, once relatively rare in Black black working-class communities, 40 increased significantly White • Though a small minority of young men were actively involved in 20 criminal activities connected with the drug traffic, virtually all black male White youth were subject to being 0 stigmatized as criminals by the Illicit Sentenced police and media drug due to drug users offensesSource: “Prisoners in 1980,” “Prisoners in 1998,” “Prisoners in 2000,” Bureau of Justice Statistics 27
  28. 28. Federal and state governments exacerbated theproblem through mass incarceration of blacks• Federal and state governments Male incarceration rates per 100K responded to the increased levels of of population by race, 1980-2000 violence by constructing vast networks of new prisons 4K - By 2000, one-third of all young black 3.5 males in their twenties were under control of the criminal justice system 3 2 2000 1.2 1.1 1 2000 1980 0.4 0.3 2000 0.2 1980 1980 0 Black Hispanic White Rodney King’s lawyer during his trail after four Los Angeles police officers brutally beat him 56 times with Aggregate batons while he was lying on the ground after a 211% 285% 167% reckless driving stop (1991) % ChangeSource: Summary of Findings from the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse,Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 28
  29. 29. The socio-economic consequences of massincarceration in the black community are profound • Hundreds of thousands of households Low-income children’s living have been destroyed; thousands of arrangements by race (2002) children separated from their parents and raised in foster care 100% Cohabitating parents Cohabitating Cohabitating parents parents Married • For several million blacks with criminal blended family Married records, most better paying jobs were parents no longer available even years after 80 No release and rehabilitation parents Married Married • Given the widespread unemployment, 60 parents parents high rates of incarceration, and the lower life expectancy of black men, more and more black women found themselves in 40 the position of having to raise children Single No parents No parents alone parent • Because black women have historically 20 Single Single been the lowest paid workers, with the parent parent highest rates of unemployment, some have been forced to depend on 0 Black Hispanic White government subsidies to supplement their incomesSource: "Marriage Promotion and the Living Arrangements of Black, Hispanic and White Children." Wherry and Finegold. NewFederalism. Urban Institute, 2004 29
  30. 30. Social policy of the 1980’s led to poverty thatdisproportionately affects Hispanics and Blacks • With the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980, Total population vs. population in poverty Proportion the new conservative of Race administration quickly moved to 293M 37M in Poverty 100% reduce federal government Asian Asian 1 in 9 spending on urban development Black and social services 80 Black 1 in 4 - Eliminated a successful job training program Hispanic - Reduced the federal food stamps program by $2B 60 - Reduced federal support for Hispanic 1 in 5 child nutrition programs by $1.7B - Closed down the Neighborhood 40 Self Help and Planning Assistance White programs - In the first year of the Reagan 20 White 1 in 12 administration, the real median income of all black families fell by 5.2% - In 1982, over 30% of the black 0 Total U.S. Total poor labor force was unemployed at population population some period during that yearSource: Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” August 2006 30
  31. 31. Blacks and Hispanics have higher unemploymentand persistently lower wagesMale unemployment rates by race (2006) Median weekly earnings of full-time workers (in constant 2005 dollars) 10.0% 9.5% 8.0 6.0 4.8% 4.0% 4.0 3.0% 2.0 0.0 Black Hispanic White AsianNote: Earnings are median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers. Earnings data have been adjusted using theCPI-U-RS research series. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Data for Asians onlyavailable since 2000.Note: Caveat on unemployment – This may be linked to educational attainmentSource: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Characteristics of the Unemployed” – Table 24 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Chartingthe US Labor Market in 2005,” – Chart 4-7 31
  32. 32. Urban poverty has given rise to grassroots effortswithin the black community• In response to the epidemic of drugs and Million Man March, violence, thousands of local community- Washington, D.C. Close to a million based groups initiated programs to participants promote neighborhood development poured onto the Washington Mall - Gang summits from all over the United States - Movements to curtail the excessive (1995) advertisement and sale of alcohol, tobacco, and guns in the black community - After-school programs focused on black youth - Partnerships with major corporations to develop minority-owned businesses and contribute funds to nonprofit organizations involved in community development Run DMC, one of• Hip hop New York City’s most influential rap groups - Another renaissance of black culture credited with taking hip hop mainstream - Created in the context of poverty, high (1980s) unemployment, and the drug epidemic in inner cities - Evolved around new artistic styles created by young people in music, dancing, and street art - Rap music is based on the spoken word and its interplay with the musical beat 32
  33. 33. Despite urban poverty, for the first time in U.S.history, a “black bourgeoisie” has come to exist• African Americans have become presidents, Chief Executives, and influential politicians• A smaller number of black celebrities and business owners are each worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson)• The traditional bonds of “linked fates” which provided a sense of cohesion and Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Former President of the United U.S. Secretary of State cultural continuity across class and States social divisions have become weaker as stratification increases in the black community - Black professionals, blue-collar working class, and the truly disadvantaged - Many middle-class blacks, confronted with the steady deterioration of public services, schools, and the elimination of jobs in central cities, relocated to the suburbs Oprah Winfrey, Entertainer Michael Jordan, retired professional basketball player 33
  34. 34. A number of black CEO’s have led Fortune 500companies• In 1999, Fannie Mae made Franklin Raines the first African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company (stepped down in 2004)• Three months later, American Express named Kenneth Chenault its CEO• In 2002, Richard Parsons became CEO at Time Warner (stepped down 2007)• In 2002, Stanley ONeal followed at Merrill (stepped down 2007)• In 2004, Clarence Otis was appointed CEO at Darden Restaurants• In 2005, Aylwin Lewis became CEO of Sears Holdings after it acquired Kmart (stepped down 2008)• In 2006, Ronald Williams took over as CEO at Aetna• In 2007, Delphi promoted Rodney ONeal to be CEO of the giant auto parts company 34
  35. 35. Dr. King • “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man cant ride you unless your back is bent.” – Martin Luther King Jr. • Questions: Contact Justin Steele at