fate. Such an outcome, to cite the Chicago Tribune, would be "inconceivable for a nation this moral, [and] unbelievably stupid for a nation this
(48) In truth, finding solutions to the problems of black youths
and the underclass is a moral imperative for all of society, not just the
black middle class, and is no less compelling for the improvidence,
indolence, or other alleged deficits of the poor.
The helpful comments of Michael Gordon, Herbert Hunter and Earl
Smith on an earlier draft are gratefully acknowledged.
On youth poverty, see Bureau of the Census, Current Population
Reports, "Characteristics of the Population below the Poverty Level:
1982," Series P-60 ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1982);
on unemployment, see Department of Labor, Employment and Training Report
of the President ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1982),
and Richard Freeman and
Harry Holzer, eds., The Black Youth Employment
Crisis ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986); on school dropouts,
see Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, "School Enrollment:
Social and Economic Characteristics of Students," Series P-20 ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing office, 1986); on youth crime and delinquency, see Department of Justice, Uniform Crime Reports for the United
States ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1986); on unwed
teenage pregnancies, see National Center for Health Statistics, Vital
Statistics of the U.S. (various editions).
U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1982.
William J. Wilson, "Inner-City Dislocations," Society 21 ( Nov/
Dec. 1983): 83.
John D. Kasarda, "Caught in the Web of Change," Society 21 ( Nov/
Dec. 1983): 41.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, "Restoring the Traditional Black Family," New York Times Magazine, June 2, 1985, 43.
Nicholas Lemann, "The Origins of the Underclass," The Atlantic
Monthly 257 ( June/July 1986): 31-55.
Glen C. Loury, "The Moral Quandary of the Black Community," Public Interest 79 (Spring 1985): 11.
Anthony Downs, "The Future of Industrial Cities," in The New
Urban Reality, ed. Paul Peterson ( Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1985), 292.
Committee on Policy for Racial Justice, Black Initiative and
Government Responsibility ( Washington, D.C.: Joint Center for Political
Studies, 1987), 5-6.
Daniel P. Moynihan, Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding ( New
York: Free Press, 1970): 198.
Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1951-1980
( New York: Basic Books, 1984), 217.