WASHINGTON (AP) — African-Americans have achieved tremendous gains in education over the past 50 years, but that has yet to translate into major progress toward economic equality, the National Urban League says in its latest State of Black America report.
This year’s report, “Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America,” identifies unemployment as the biggest barrier to that progress. It also marks milestones in black history since 1963, the height of the civil rights movement.
According to the report, released Wednesday during the league’s annual legislative conference, 75 percent of black adults had not completed high school 50 years ago, compared with 15 percent of black adults today. At the college level, there are now 3.5 times more blacks aged 18-24 enrolled, and five times as many black adults who hold a college degree.
Overall, the standard of living for black Americans improved significantly, due mainly to better access to educational and employment opportunities, the report says. It credits those opportunities to the passage of civil rights laws and affirmative action policies. But there has been much less change between blacks and whites on the economic ladder, with indicators such as employment, income and home ownership.
On average, blacks remain twice as likely as whites to be unemployed and earn less than two-thirds the income of whites. For every dollar that whites earn, blacks earn 60 cents, the report said.
On average, African-Americans enjoy 71.7 percent, or fewer than three-fourths, of the benefits and privileges that are offered to white Americans. These include education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement.
The report derives its numbers from an “equality index” that is based on nationally collected data from agencies including the Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 300 statistics were used in the index and 140 were weighed in the calculation. Because so many various statistics are used in the index, improvements in certain areas are sometimes offset by losses in others, resulting in gradations of change in the overall percentages.
The National Urban League has launched a $70 million initiative, “Jobs Rebuild America,” to help get unemployed African-Americans back to work. The public-private partnership creating and expanding some the group’s programs in job training, education, finance, career counseling, entrepreneurship and youth mentoring in about 30 cities. They are also pushing bills to promote employment opportunities for at-risk teens and young adults.
“This is really emphasis on saying that the nation does not have to throw up its hands in the face of this unemployment crisis and this severe unemployment crisis in black America,” said Urban League CEO Marc Morial. “There are things that we can do to leverage public and private support to build partnerships to put Americans back to work, and that’s why we’re doing this.”
The report features essays by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart, Dr. Gail Christopher of the Kellogg Foundation, civil rights figure Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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