Contemporary Issues In The African American Community

Read Complete Research Material

Contemporary issues in the African American Community

African Americans face current challenges that impact their group status and advancement within the United States. These challenges involve employment, education, family, health, race relations, criminal justice, economic development, and the role of the African American church. The National Urban League, U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other organizations have researched these areas. This report relies primarily on two publications by the National Urban League: (1) The State of Black America 2001 and (2) The State of Black America 2000 (Harris p.19).

The State of Black America 2001 contains a study of 800 African American households where respondents state that racial discrimination, employment or unemployment, education, unity, and crime are five of the most important problems facing them (Stafford, 2001). Some of these problems, along with challenges identified by other sources, are discussed here. For the sake of efficiency, they are discussed in the following sections: (1) race matters: employment and the legal system, (2) wealth and business development, and (3) family and church. Health is discussed separately and is based on reports from the CDC and the Multicultural Clearinghouse. Solutions that have been offered to address these issues are included.

Race Matters: Employment and the Legal System

During the last quarter of the 20th Century, African Americans were employed at greater rates and held more positions in managerial and professional occupations than at any other period in the history of the United States. For example, their entry into managerial and professional occupations increased from 13.7 percent in 1982 to 21.5 percent in 1999 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2000). The unemployment rate among African Americans, however, remained more than twice that of whites from 1972 through 1999 (Tidwell, 2000). In 1999, for example, the unemployment rate was 8.2 for African Americans and 3.6 for whites. Although labor force participation improved for African Americans, their complaints of racial discrimination on the job were higher than any other group. The average number of complaints for this group is 28,000 per year (Stafford, 2001, p. 26). Sixty-three percent of the 800 African-American households surveyed believe that they are treated unfairly regardless of their job status. In particular, respondents felt that they are paid less than whites and that their advancement on the job is limited because of their race (King p.18).

This belief is supported, in part, by U.S. Census data that show African Americans earn 30 ...
Related Ads