Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

Editor's Remarks

Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

Editor's Remarks

Article excerpt

The election of President Barack Obama embodies the significant progress made by African American people in the United States since emancipation. Nonetheless, some African Americans are still impoverished and living in disadvantaged rural and urban communities. We are all too familiar with racial inequalities in rates of arrest, high school dropout, unemployment, and HIV/ AIDS morbidity. Many of these inequalities are long-standing and pervasive but not immovable.

While this volume of the Harvard Journal of African Amerìcan Public Policy, "What's Working for Black America?: Strategies for Sustained Success," documents some challenges that impact the Black community nationally, its primary purpose is to provide solution-oriented approaches to those challenges. Focusing on community development, education, politics, and public health, this sixteenth volume aims to facilitate a discourse among practitioners, policy makers, and academics regarding the many types of capital available within the Black community to effect change.

We begin with an examination of how social capital impacts the policies and programs that local elected officials champion while in office. Specifically, Ashley Reid tests the hypothesis that local elected officials' voluntary political action reflects the purpose and mission of their social networks. Michael Wolking and Ololade Olakanmi discuss the continuing efforts of a partnership between local residents and Harvard University graduate students to revitalize a neighborhood in Greenwood, Mississippi. Amarachuku C. Enyia explores the challenge of school desegregation but also makes a case for school districts across the country under consent decrees to abandon previous plans and start again.

The journal is also proud to feature other articles and commentary. Desmond U. Patton and David W. Johnson study how community violence impacts adolescents' access to social capital and offer recommendations for leveraging resources within communities. Kate Krontiris and Christopher Waller poignantly describe principles of problem-solving justice and efforts by community organizations to reduce recidivism in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. …

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