Study: Even for college-educated blacks, road to
full-time work is rocky
After more than a year of
networking and applying for jobs, college graduate Jeramey Winfield still hasn't
found full-time work. The North Lawndale resident was a standout student and
envisioned a career in marketing or event planning. (Phil Velasquez, Chicago
By Lolly Bowean
Months before he graduated from
college, Jeramey Winfield was sending out resumes and applying for jobs online
The media studies major hoped to
jump from Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire right into the Chicago
workforce, in marketing or event planning, so he could get his own apartment and
begin helping his family financially. But after more than a year of networking,
sending out applications and asking mentors for help, Winfield still doesn't
have a full-time job. In fact, he said, he's rarely been called back for an
"I had this picture in my mind of
working downtown, taking the train in and contributing to my profession," said
Winfield, who often wears dapper, fitted business suits. "I had this vision of
helping my mom out, since she struggled to raise five of us. I wanted to give
her some relief."
While unemployment is falling to
its lowest level in years, recent college graduates across the country are
nonetheless struggling to find work. A new report found that, for young
African-Americans with a four-year degree, the job search has been especially
brutal. They are having a harder time than whites finding a job, are more likely
to be in a job that does not require their college degree and are being paid
less than white workers with the same experience.
Even African-Americans who study
science, technology, engineering and math - majors that have been winners in the
job market - have had a hard time finding work, said John Schmitt, a senior
economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who co-authored that
recent report, "A College Degree is No Guarantee."
"We are looking at a group of people who did
everything right," Schmitt said in an interview. "They graduated high school
like they were told. They went to college and graduated. They entered the labor
market. But they are more likely to be unemployed than their white
gap between whites and blacks has been fueled by many factors. Black college
graduates don't have strong networks, and they often don't have the experience
to navigate the corporate world and reach the people who hire. More important,
according to Schmitt, young African-Americans can face a measure of
discrimination when they try to get their foot in the door, sometimes losing job
opportunities to white applicants.
Among recent black graduates ages 22 to 27,
the jobless rate in 2013, the last year for which data are available, was 12.4
percent compared with 5.6 percent for whites. For black 22-year-olds just
leaving college, 67.1 percent were underemployed, compared with 56.2 percent for
all college graduates in that age group, Schmitt said.
Jones, Clark Atlanta University and the National Cares Mentoring
James Earl Jones (1994 -
Dear National CARES Supporters,
of our treasured Clark Atlanta University student mentors, James Earl Jones,
lost his life to gun violence on Monday night, sending shock waves throughout
Atlanta and the two campuses where we are working. Grief counselors have been
brought to the CAU campus and to Clark Middle School. Tracey Knight, project
director of our HBCU Rising STEM and literacy program, sent the following email
to our Atlanta supporters and STEM professionals who mentor our CAU college
students in the two-tiered mentoring initiative.
heart aches for the family, the students and all of us who've lost yet another
young Black life to the unrelenting violence that has so disrupted our
impoverished communities. Black poverty is increasing; it's intergenerational,
systemic and sustained by public policies that punish the poor, inequities in
education, joblessness and hopelessness. We've lost a brilliant and joyful
Rising Scholar---- on the heels of the
30-plus students at Harlan High, on the South Side of Chicago, who were shot,
and the one murdered--- all in the
past academic year.
Violence is the child of poverty.
tragedies demonstrate painfully and powerfully why we recruit and deploy mentors
and are building transformational group-mentoring programs for replication
throughout the nation. Transformation is possible! With a proven plan,
strategic unity, commitment---- and faith,
our struggling children and community will heal and win!
James was a junior, a chemistry major from Daytona
Beach, Florida. He was an outstanding STEM student who maintained a cumulative
3.0 GPA. James was also very serious about becoming a physician and had plans
to study infectious diseases in China next academic year. Though his academics
were important to him, he spent his free time tutoring and mentoring young
ones. James had a strong commitment to the HBCU Rising program and his mentees
at Brown Middle School, because he himself had a challenging childhood and had
exhibited wayward behavior and poor commitment to his studies. After high
school graduation, he made a conscious choice to turn his life around, and he
used the HBCU Rising program as his acknowledgment and payback for the grace
that had been given to him. James was one of only a few Black male mentors in
our program, so he not only served as a mentor for his 6 mentees but he was also
a role model for every male and female Rising Scholar in the program. Needless
to say, everyone loved him.
The Black Star Project thanks the Board of
Directors of The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Board of Directors of Woods
Fund of Chicago, Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins, Illinois State
Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chicago Alderman Will Burns and Melody Spann
Cooper of WVON for their generous support for our parenting programs.
Click Here to Purchase "The Chains of Black America".
Celebrate the 150th Year of the 13th Amendment
with the Illinois Amistad Commission and the DuSable Museum of African American
History on Saturday,
February 21, 2015 at 740 East 56th Place, 1:00
pm. Please call 773.947.0600 for more information.
Mark Russell: Some sobering news about black
Lance Nowlin performs with Krash Krew during the Sankofa
Black Heritage Festival at the Indiana State Museum, Saturday, February 7, 2015.
(Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/The
This has been a very busy new
year, but I did have the opportunity to enjoy the movie "Selma" and reflect upon
the realities of being a black male in America in 2015. Using sources such as
the Black Star Project, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tavis Smiley and PBS,
the picture that emerges is both challenging and troubling.
Let's start with employment,
where it is sadly true that it is easier for a black male to illegally obtain a
gun on the street than to secure legitimate employment. The adult unemployment rates for whites in December 2014
was 4.8 percent, compared with a black unemployment rate of 10.4
On June 3, 2014, the Black Star
Project released a devastating fact sheet about life for black men in America.
According to the report, "at comparable educational levels, black men earn 67
percent of what white men earn; white males with a high school diploma are just
as likely to have a job and earn just as much as black males with college
Elsewhere the report notes that
"while constituting roughly 12 percent of the total population, black Americans
are represent nearly 30 percent of its poor and . . . 44 percent of all
prisoners in the United States." The challenges
faced by young black Americans are also staggering.
Unemployment for white youths
stood at 12.2 percent in 2014, compared with a black youth unemployment rate of
Black Star relates that 67
percent of black children are born out of wedlock; that only 7 percent of black
8th-graders perform math at grade level; that only 45 percent of black men
graduate from high school in the U.S.; and that just 22 percent of black males
who began at four-year colleges graduated within six years.
Probably the greatest challenge
and sadness is the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death for black
males ages 15-34 and that suicide is the third leading cause of death for black
males in that age range.
I share these sad facts not
because I hate my own race but rather because the first step in solving a
problem is recognizing there is a problem. And,
yes, I am compelled to add that many of these ills are moral in nature, be it
the absence of values that produces children born out of wedlock or the seeming
lack of respect for education as a tool for not only the liberation and
transformation of the mind but for the economic and body politic as
Russell is director of education, family services
and housing for the Indianapolis Urban League. Contact him at
email@example.com and at Mark A. Russell @IURuss on
Possibly the Greatest Paper Written
on Educating Black Children!!!
African American Child
Dr. Donald Smith was the president of the
National Alliance of Black School Educators in 1984 when Dr. Asa Hilliard and
Dr. Barbara Sizemore led a team of Black educators to produce possibly the
greatest paper ever written on teaching and saving African American
Dr. Barbara Sizemore
Dr. Asa Hilliard
These two educators, both now
deceased, were world-renowned for the work they did with and for Black children.
Today, education administrators, school teachers, college professors, foundation
officers, elected officials, parents, community organizers, students and anyone
interested in educating Black children must read this
"Saving the African American
Child is a philosophical statement of belief and expectations",
Says Dr. Smith. He continues, "It provides the basis for an education whose
content is true, appropriate and relevant and whose processes are democratic and
And finally Dr. Smith says, "While our single objective is
African America children,
we believe that all American children will be better served by an educational
system which is based on the goals of academic and cultural excellence as
defined in this report."
Click Here to read the full report, Saving the African
of Black Americans
through Worst Economic Conditions
Wealth of Black Americans $200
Welcome to America, where Black Americans are more
likely to be under-educated, unemployed and imprisoned than their White peers;
where Black Americans, in general, have significantly less wealth, dramatically
lower-quality housing, much poorer nutrition and sub-standard medical care. This
is an America where Black people remain relatively silent while these conditions and a raging
economic genocide, eliminates them, their children and their grandchildren from
ever participating in the American mainstream!
Recent economic, wealth and
employment reports confirm what much of Black America already knows: We are in
serious TROUBLE and multitudes of Black people exist in deep poverty. Many Black
people in America are not just poor by American standards; many of us are
third-world poor. Black Americans are in an economic free-fall with no fiscal
backstop. Many Black Americans will live their entire lives without ever having
a positive net worth. Most Black people today who work are like "sharecroppers",
men and families who did most or all of the work on a farm, but seldom earned
enough to pay their debts and never owned anything of value.
it gets much worse! When you remove vehicles and other durables from the
equation, according to New York University economist Edward Wolff, the median
Black family worth is just $1,700 (while 40 percent of Black families have zero
or negative wealth). The median White family worth (without durable goods) is
roughly 69 times more than that of Black families, or about $116,800.
And worst of all, the sad reality
is that liquid wealth is largely non-existent within Black families. Liquid
wealth is the money used to pay bills, buy food, pay the rent and cover
emergency situations. In 2011, the Center for Global Policy Solutions in a
report entitled Beyond Broke, showed the median liquid wealth of Black
Americans as only $200, compared to $23,000 held by Whites.
More than $100 billion might have
been extracted from Black American communities during the recent recession
according to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending, Foreclosures by
Race and Ethnicity. This economic carnage of the Black American economy
constitutes a kind of "financial rape" of the African American community,
similar to the devastating effects of colonization on the African continent.
Black Americans might never recover. Never!
Black America cannot wait for the government,
foundations and universities to save us. Annually, Black Americans generate
about $1 trillion within the U.S. economy. We must take control of our financial
resources and improve Black personal finances, our family wealth and our
communities' economies. Although life might be good economically in America, the
majority of Black Americans are living through the worst economic conditions in
Click Here to reaqd full
article or to leave a comment on this article
Black Girls Matter:
Report Exposes Gendered and Racial Disparities in Education Too Often
school district, Black girls are 53 times more likely to be suspended than White
Researchers for the study used
data and personal interviews with young women of color in Boston and New York
to expose how racism, sexism, and class issues erase Black girls' experiences in
the school system, limit their educational opportunities, and marginalize their
needs, while pushing them into low-wage work, unemployment, and
"Gender and race norms place
black girls at risk," said the report's lead author, Kimberlé Crenshaw, in its
launching webinar yesterday.
Often, conversations about race
in education focus on the achievement gap between Black and white boys, but many
efforts refuse to acknowledge that Black girls experience these same gaps
between themselves and their white counterparts - and often in greater numbers.
Sometimes, the magnitude of racial disparities for girls is greater than that of
boys, despite the minute attention paid to black girls' lives.
The report highlights the
negative impacts of zero-tolerance school systems and punitive disciplinary
philosophies on girls, such as how law enforcement and security personnel make
girls feel less safe. "It feels like you're in jail," one interviewee told
researchers. "It's like they treat you like animals, because they think that's
where you're going to end up."
Girls interviewed for the study
also cited sexual harassment as part of their educational experience, and
reported that administrators did little to protect them from harassment and violence. Some were punished for engaging
in self-defense or asked to leave classrooms where they were being harassed in
order to make the disruptions stop.
Black girls are also targeted
unfairly by administrators for suspension and expulsion. In the 2011-2012 school
year, for example,12 percent of all African
American girls in pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 were suspended, a suspension
rate six times the rate for white girls and higher than rates for white, Asian,
and Latino boys.
In some school districts, all the
girls suspended were Black. In one, Black girls were 53 times more likely to be
expelled than their white counterparts.