State of Black America

Black Americans Saw Only Slight Increases in Equality in Last Year, Says Report

The National Urban League's annual State of Black America report found only small gains toward equality for African-Americans compared to 2016

by #teamEBONY, May 3, 2017

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State of Black America

Blacks are doing slightly better in the categories of economics, health and education compared to Whites, according to new figures released Tuesday by the National Urban League. Challenges still exist in the areas of employment, income equality and social justice.

The civic leadership organization released its annual report “The State of Black America,” which examines how Blacks are living in America in comparison to the majority.

National Urban League president Marc Morial said that progress made by Black Americans during Barack Obama’s presidency is now in trouble under the new administration.

“During the Obama era, the economy added 15 million new jobs, the Black unemployment rate dropped and the high school graduation rate for African-Americans soared. Now that progress, and much more, is threatened,” Morial said in his president’s message with the report.

Proposed changes under the Trump administration would eliminate much needed funding for public schools, cut funds for health, education, housing and labor and funding for other vital programs. Morial called it “a blueprint for a sick, uneducated, homeless and unemployed America.”

The report’s findings include:

  • Overall, according to the study’s equality index, African-Americans stand at 72.3 percent, up just one-tenth of a percentage point from last year’s 72.2 percent.
  • According to the same index, social justice decreased for Blacks from 60.9 percent to 57.4 percent.
  • Blacks did better in education, with that index mark rising from 77.4 percent to 78.2 percent
  • The health index rose from 79.4 percent to 80 percent.
  • Finally, in economics Black growth went to 56.5 percent from 56.2 percent.

According to the State of Black America, these figures stem from factors within the African-American community like better educational opportunities, a decrease in the number of people without healthcare insurance and even a boost in the number of Black-owned businesses. But at the same time, there were several factors that affected the decrease in the social justice index ranging from the way the Bureau of Justice Statistics keeps records on traffic stops to an increase in the number of Blacks incarcerated after an arrest.

“While the Obama years were no panacea for America’s long-standing racial inequities, they were a steady climb toward improvement, and we are determined to keep moving forward to protect our progress,” said Morial in his statement.

To read the National Urban League’s “State of Black America” report click here: www.StateOfBlackAmerica.org

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