As the country remembers the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., 40% of Black children are born poor. In the fourth grade, 85% of Black children cannot read nor do grade level math and later almost half drop out of school. A Black boy born in 2001 has a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison sometime in his lifetime.
A new report shows the vast majority of America's Black community, 7 in 10 adults, view these as tough or very bad times for Black children and many see poor Black youth falling further behind. A majority of Black adults believe that half or more of all Black children will experience, before reaching adulthood, racial profiling from law enforcement, getting in trouble with the law, serving time in jail or prison, and being denied important opportunities because of their race.
Serious problems identified by Black Americans in a similar study conducted by Hart Research 16 years ago continue to plague Black communities today, such as failing schools, negative cultural and media influences, violence, drugs and addiction, fractured families and teen pregnancy.
However, Black youth are generally more optimistic about the future than adults.
On January 13, Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone, released the Hart study and a complementary new study by Andy Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. They, along with other black leaders, announced commitments for the second phase of BCCC at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
CDF website: www.childrensdefense.org