Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MLK DAY; Looking for Light

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MLK DAY; Looking for Light

Article excerpt

Once again, the march toward racial harmony that Martin Luther King Jr. inspired decades ago is being slowed by racial disparities in Jacksonville.

That's the reality. Plain and simple.

It's a reality found in Jacksonville Community Council Inc.'s latest update of Jacksonville's progress on race relations.

It's a reality found by Blueprint for Prosperity in its latest report on what to do to make Jacksonville a more prosperous place.

And it's a reality laid out in painful detail in the Jacksonville Children's Commission latest State of Jacksonville's Children report.


Black people who make more than $71,043 a year are more than twice as likely to be denied a conventional mortgage as white people making the same income, according to JCCI.

Or that the total number of working age blacks in poverty grew by 30 percent between 2000 and 2006 - even though the total black population only grew by 13 percent during that time, according to the Blueprint report.

But the Children's Commission's findings were the starkest and saddest.

The findings reveal the staggering inequalities that a disproportionate number of black children - innocents whose predicaments can't be blamed on laziness or immorality - have to grapple with each day. Inequalities that, many times, don't even permit them to live past childhood.

According to the commission, black children in Jacksonville:

- Are 1 1/2 times more likely to die in infancy than white children.

- Are 1 1/2 times more likely to die as children than white children.

- Are more likely to live in neighborhoods where there are higher incidents of crime, illiteracy, drive-by shootings and homicides.

- Are more than nine times as likely than white children to be diagnosed with AIDS.

The list goes on.


For example, the JCCI study found that 10 percent of black respondents believed they had "great" influence in government-decision making, compared to 9 percent of Hispanic and 4 percent of white respondents. …

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