Contrary to many beliefs that Black men are an endangered species in the U.S., older Black men (ages 25 and up) fare better in employment populations than Black and White women.
Crushing the negative stereotypes about black men requires just the facts and stats, Jack.
The African-American Labor Force In The Recovery(Feb. 29, 2012) reported that, “Overall, black men and white men are employed at higher rates than are black women and white women. However, employment rates have fallen much more sharply for men than for women in either racial group since the 2007-2009 recession began. In recent months, there have been signs of improvement in employment rates for black men. The share of black men with a job has risen from its May 2011 low of 56 percent to 59.7 percent in January 2012. That is the highest employment rate since February 2009.”
This is good news for many Black men, but the disparities in educational levels still stagnates a significant percentage of younger Black men. According to PR Newswire, “Black Male Dropouts Lead Nation in Incarceration”(Oct.9,2012), it was reported that, “On any given day, nearly 23 percent of all young black men ages 16-24 who have dropped out of high school are in jail, prison, or a juvenile justice institution in America. More than half-54 percent-of the nation’s dropouts ages 16-24 were jobless on an average month during 2008. Forty percent of all young dropouts in the country were jobless for the entire year.”
Give Black Men More Books, Not More Jail Bonds
Yet, in spite of these gloomy statistics on unemployed young black men in the U.S., there are not more black men in prison than in college. Washington Post(Oct. 3, 2007) editors wrote that, “According to the 2005 Census Bureau statistics, the male African American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated (federal, state, local jails) young Black males, or slightly over 10 percent. According to the same census data, 530,000 of these African American males, or twenty-eight percent, were enrolled in colleges or universities (including two-year colleges) in 2005.”
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education(Dec. 28, 2012) reported that, “More than 4.5 million African Americans now hold a four-year college degree. In 2008, 19.6 percent of all African Americans over the age of 25 held a college degree. Approximately 88,000 black men have a professional degree in the United States compared to 62,000 black women. Black men continue to hold the lead in doctorates but here too the gap is closing.” These statistics also dilute the theories that there are not enough qualified, educated black men in the U.S. to establish qualitative relationships with successful black women.
Black Men in Birmingham Leading By Example
As a native of Birmingham, black men continue to lead in many key leadership positions. Some black male leaders in Birmingham includes Chief A.C. Roper, Birmingham Police Department, City of Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon, Birmingham NAACP President Hezekiah Jackson IV, former American Idol Ruben Studdard, Birmingham American Federation of Teachers President Richard Franklin, and many others.
For those of you who will read this article, and consider it biased or sexist, I need to point out that my mother, a single parent, raised nine boys (I had no sisters) into men. She is my role model and life mentor. I would not have completed three degrees without her serving as the wind beneath my wings since birth.
Of course, as James Brown sang, this world would be nothing without a woman or a girl.