Especially in the country's inner cities, the studies show, finishing high school is the exception, legal work is scarcer than ever and prison is almost routine, with incarceration rates climbing for blacks even as urban crime rates have declined.
Terrible schools, absent parents, racism, the decline in blue collar jobs and a subculture that glorifies swagger over work have all been cited as causes of the deepening ruin of black youths.
In inner cities across the country, more than half of all black men still do not finish high school, said Gary Orfield, an education expert at Harvard and editor of "Dropouts in America" (Harvard Education Press, 2004).
"We're pumping out boys with no honest alternative," Mr. Orfield said in an interview, "and of course their neighborhoods offer many other alternatives."
By their mid-30's, 30 percent of black men with no more than a high school education have served time in prison, and 60 percent of dropouts have.
Among black dropouts in their late 20's, more are in prison on a given day — 34 percent — than are working — 30 percent — according to an analysis of 2000 census data by Steven Raphael of the University of California, Berkeley.
In response to the worsening situation for young black men, a growing number of programs are placing as much importance on teaching life skills — like parenting, conflict resolution and character building — as they are on teaching job skills.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Plight Deepens for African American Men
Here is a link to a NY Times article entitled, "Plight Deepens for African American Men, Studies Warn". It highlights a flurry of recent studies that show that Black men are falling increasingly farther behind the rest of society with higher dropout rates and greater rates of unemployment and incarceration. Here are some highlights from the article...