Sunday, March 26, 2006

Are plights deepening for black men?

My new blogsphere comrade (pomonegro) has a post on Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn from a NY Times article that has to be read byany of us who are engaged in inner city work or ministry. Make sure you watch the video about Strive in Baltimore, MD. Here are some of the findings.

The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990's. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless, that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20's were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000. Incarceration rates climbed in the 1990's and reached historic highs in the past few years. In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20's who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent were incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison. In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high school.


dlweston said...

I also posted on this article. Very disturbing indeed. How do we respond to this? Where is the church in this article? What's the answer in light of diminshing resources going into our urban centers and saftey net programs in order to provide for "national security" and tax cuts?

bj woodworth said...


ty said...

I heard Tony Compolo speak at the Pgh Project this pas May, he commented to this issue with a significant challenge to the churches, a challenge that takes us beyond the perception of the traditional role of the church, and into a tradtion we know but don't speak to very much. To paraphrase; "when there were no schools, the church created the schools, when there were no hospitals the church created the hospitals, and now there are no jobs, and now the church needs to create jobs". A challenge like this is truly revolutionary in that it moves to changes in fundamental praxis, and puts the church in a pace it is familiar with historically, and away from relying on those outside the church. How is this done? good question - don't know, but with focus and those with the appropriate gifts, I'm sure it can be done. At a minimum we know that there is mobilization in this type of work overseas with various micro-loan programs, and here in Pgh we have a template through Dwelling House.