Tag Archives: statistics

Single Black Men: Is marriage really for white people?

Watch this video and here what Brothers have to say about the matter (from CNN’s Special Reports area of the “Black in America” site.


FYI: They also posted this great article on one sista’s singleness http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/07/22/single.black.women/


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Economics Play a Big Role in Black Abortions

NEW YORK (Associated Press) – “It doesn’t just happen to young people, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with irresponsibility,” said Miriam Inocencio, president of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island. “Women face years and years of reproductive life after they’ve completed their families, and they’re at risk of an unintended pregnancy that can create an economic strain.”Activists on both sides of the abortion debate will soon be marking the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which established a nationwide right to abortion.

In recent years, the number of abortions has fallen; the 1.2 million tallied for 2005 was down 8 percent from 2000, and the per-capita abortion rate was the lowest since 1974. But overall, since the Roe ruling on Jan. 22, 1973, there have been roughly 50 million abortions in the United States, and more than one-third of adult women are estimated to have had at least one.

Who are these women?

Much of the public debate focuses on teens, as evidenced by the constant wrangling over parental notification laws and movies like the current hit “Juno,” in which the pregnant heroine heads to an abortion clinic, then decides to have the baby.

In fact, the women come from virtually every demographic sector. But year after year the statistics reveal that black women and economically struggling women — who have above-average rates of unintended pregnancies — are far more likely than others to have abortions. About 13 percent of American women are black, yet new figures from the Centers for Disease Control show they account for 35 percent of the abortions.

Black anti-abortion activists depict this phenomenon in dire terms — “genocide” and “holocaust,” for example. But often the women getting the abortions say they act in the interests of children they already have. Continue reading

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PSA: Black Men and Negative Statistics

This  clip is brought to you by What Black Men Think“, a movie by Janks Morton.  He is concerned about what African Americans think of themselves.  He is concerned that the Black community will accept negative news stories and negative statistics without questioning or researching the facts for ourselves.

“The film sets out to debunk stereotypes that he said have been perpetuated for so many years that they have struck the black community to its core. Stereotypes that have insulted, demoralized and humiliated. That have left others intimidated by black boys and black men.

The “docu-logue” is in a style akin to Michael Moore’s, with interviews of black intellectuals. It’s infused with graphics, historical footage of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and provocative moments, such as black women calling black men dogs.” – Full article from the Washington Post

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Marriage Gap Threatens the Black American Dream

In America, upward mobility is not only the dream, it’s the norm. But in recent years Americans have worried: Is the American Dream about to die?

Don’t write the obituary yet. A groundbreaking new study by Brookings Institution scholar Julia Isaacs brings us good news: Two-thirds of us who were children in the late-1960s have grown up to earn more (adjusted for inflation) than our own parents did at the same age. By 2006 the median family income of the adults in this study was $71,900, up 29 percent compared to the median income of their parents in 1968.

But the income gains are not equally shared. Between 1974 and 2004, the racial gap in median family income actually widened, with black family income dropping from 63 percent to 58 percent of the median white family income.


First consider personal earnings. Between 1974 and 2004, the incomes of white men dipped slightly from $41,885 to $40,081. Black men’s personal earnings dropped more dramatically from $29,085 to $25,600. Meanwhile, white women’s income quintupled from $4,021 to $22,030, while black women’s personal earnings only doubled, from $12,065 to $21,000.

White men would be downwardly mobile, except that they support fewer kids than their fathers’ did, and their wives earn far more. The number of angry white blue-collar males would be far higher, in other words, if they weren’t married to pink-collar earning wives.

It’s not hard to see storm clouds brewing in these stats. How long before stagnating white male wages create some kind of visible political backlash? After all, blue-collar guys don’t have any more wives to send out into the workforce, and how many fewer kids can women have? Economic populism may not be dead, just sleeping.

But black women were already in the work force in large numbers by 1968, so the feminist revolution had less dramatic returns for black families. And for blacks, declining male wages interacted with the sexual revolution to create an intergenerational disaster for African-American children.

How big a disaster? Take as a proxy for the middle-class: American parents who earned in the middle quintile (or 20 percent) of Americans in 1968. More than two-thirds of white children in this income group grew up to earn more than their parents did at the same age. By contrast almost three-fifths of black children in the middle income group earned less than their parents did.

The American Dream plays a lot better in white than black.

The “marriage gap” between white and black plays a big part in this story. African-Americans are much less likely than their parents were (or than white adults are now) to be married. They are also more likely to have children outside of marriage than their parents were, or than white adults are today.

When 25 percent of children in a community are born outside of marriage (as among whites today) that’s a serious problem. When almost 70 percent of children in a given community are born outside of marriage (as among African-Americans today) that’s a tsunami blocking the intergenerational accumulation of human and social capital.

So far, the silence about the issue among our leaders is deafening. Hillary, Barack, Fred,i Mitt, Rudy: Who will take up the challenge of reducing the marriage gap written so starkly in black and white? Who wants to rebuild the American Dream for all our children?

Source: Yahoo News

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True or False: More black men in jail than in college

I’ve long believed that there are more black men in jail than in college. However, I’m taking into account all black men of college age, not comparing the total number of black men in jail to the total number of black men enrolled in college. I’ve found an interesting article that attemps to answer the question of this belief being true or false, and provides some statistics. This is a belief I’ve heard noted time and time again (especially when discussing the number of available black men in the company of single black women).

In the article, Michael Strambler (Baltimore Sun) writes:

“Are more black men behind bars than in college? The answer lies in who is doing the counting – and how.

A controversy is brewing about the veracity of this often-stated belief – one that is likely to be amplified by the injustice in Jena, La., and the new census report that more black people live in jails than in dormitories.

Unfortunately, the claims from neither side of the debate provide an accurate picture of the issue. We need to get a handle on the answer so we are not distracted from pursuing the larger question of why so many black men are incarcerated.

Part of the tension around this subject has to do with the film What Black Men Think, which in part aims to debunk the popular negative notions about black men. One point the filmmaker, Janks Morton, argues is that the notion that there are more black men in jail and prison than in college is false. In the film, most of the criticism is directed toward the Justice Policy Institute, which produced a 2002 report that Mr. Morton says sparked all the hoopla. Mr. Morton calls the report a con to benefit the Justice Policy Institute and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Jason Ziedenberg, executive director of the institute, recently reiterated the validity of the report’s findings. But the real answer lies between their arguments.

The numbers in question from the Justice Policy Institute report come from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics. The report indicates that there were an estimated 791,600 black men in jail and prison in 2000 and a count of 603,032 in college in 1999. Mr. Morton agrees with the jail and prison number but asserts in his blog that the more reliable U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were 816,000 black men in college in 2000. In the film, he makes comparisons using the same data sources for 2005 and states this number to be 864,000. Furthermore, he argues that it is bad practice to use the entire age range of black males when making these comparisons, because the age range for college-going males is generally 18 to 24, not the 18 to 55 (and up) range of the jail and prison population. Viewed this way, the ratio of black men in college compared with jail and prison is 4-to-1.

Mr. Morton’s position that the Census Bureau number is more accurate leads to the assumption that the number is a head count, similar to the decennial census. But the number really comes from the Current Population Survey, which is conducted by the Census Bureau but is not the census itself. This is a household survey administered to a sample of individuals in order to estimate the entire population. The less representative the coverage of the survey, the less sure one can be of the accuracy of the estimated number. And – surprise – the Current Population Survey’s lowest coverage rate is among young black men.

On the other hand, the number of college-going black males from the National Center for Education Statistics is from a mandatory institutional survey of all degree-granting institutions eligible to disburse federal financial aid funds (the overwhelming majority). No sampling is involved; they count all the students in the nation. This points to the greater reliability of the national center number over the Current Population Survey number.

Mr. Morton does make a very important point about the need for these kinds of comparisons to use relevant age groups, which the Justice Policy Institute report does not do.

The best evidence thus indicates that as a whole, there are more black men in jail and prison than in college – but there are more college-age black men in college than in jail and prison. It doesn’t make for a great sound bite; complex realities rarely do. But perhaps the primary focus of the discussion can now turn to why there are so many black men in jail – and what society can do about it.”

I’m glad to hear that there are more college aged black men in school rather than jail cells. However, we must be conscious of the impact of the lack of those brothers 18-55 not being present in our communities. Children raised without fathers, single black women without mates, and the plight these men face when released are all realities that the Black community must deal with. Each year, when 650,000 ex-prisoners return to communities all across the United States, so many of them are African Americans.  They are our brothers, lovers, fathers…they are us.  We shouldn’t just consider them statistics…we should consider them loved so that they can be restored and our community can be restored.  Let our legacy evolve so that the assumption of where our college aged black men are will be that they are in a positive place due to our efforts.


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