Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Report: Uncertain Future for African Americans despite Past Gains

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Report: Uncertain Future for African Americans despite Past Gains

Article excerpt


While important gains have been made during the past decade, African Americans still have a long way to go to achieve equality in America, according to a new report by UCLA professor Michael Stoll. While the 1960s through the 1980s were characterized with gains in civil rights, data from the decade of the 1990s indicates that the struggle has become increasingly economic in nature, according to Stoll.

The report, "African Americans and the Color Line," is part of "The American People" series published by the New York-based Russell Sage Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau in Washington.

Based primarily on Census 2000 data and other current data sources, Stoll's research focuses primarily on African Americans' absolute and relative gains during the 1990s in employment, earnings, family income, poverty reduction and wealth. The report advances the continuing discussion of African Americans' economic and social progress and examines whether they have continued to make gains from 1990 to 2000, relative to Whites.

Stoll, an associate professor of policy studies at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research and associate director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, notes that "understanding whether the racial divide between Blacks and Whites is closing is important, precisely because of the historically significant role of slavery, legalized segregation and Black-White conflict. But when viewed in this light, the degree of racial progress observed over the 1990s was limited."

Report topics include population change and growth, rising educational attainment, uneven employment changes, modest earnings gains, rising family income, falling poverty, limited gains in wealth accumulation and growing stability in family structure. The report also covers changing residential location patterns, persistent residential segregation, racial segregation and economic opportunity, and the rapid growth of incarceration for African Americans. …

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