Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity


Kind of dark for a Monday, but this post on the opportunity gap between black and white students. The data leaves out other minority groups, but the information provided makes it clear that for some of our students, the hill to success is harder to climb than it is for others. Awareness of these differences allows us to better understand and support our students as they prepare for the future.

What would Martin Luther King Jr. think of America in 2015 if he’d lived to see his eighty-sixth birthday? No doubt, he’d be pleased by the legal and political advances of black Americans, crowned by the election and re-election of President Obama.

But King would be disturbed by the stubborn race gaps that remain, especially in opportunity, tarnishing the idea of the American Dream. In terms of opportunity, there are still two Americas, divided by race. Five facts show how far we still have to go.

1.       Half of Black Americans Born Poor Stay Poor 

Upward mobility from the bottom of the income distribution is much less likely for black than white Americans: 51% of the black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at age 40:

2.       Most Black…

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