50 Years of a Dream

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from The Wall Street Journal,

On the anniversary of the March on Washington, how has the outlook for white and black Americans changed?

10% of African-American Households Have Incomes Above $100,000. By nearly every available economic metric, African-Americans are better off today than earlier generations were.

Today, 40% say blacks have a good a chance as whites to get any kind of job vs 22% in 1963.

56% of blacks lived below the poverty line in 1963, just 28% today.

The wage gap between whites and blacks has narrowed since 1963.

And the ranks of blacks in the top stratum of American society has grown. The number of African-Americans in the U.S. has roughly doubled since 1963; the number with bachelor’s degrees has increased 14 fold. As recently as 2000, there were more black men in prison than in college; that is no longer true.

Unemployment rates go up and down with the economy, but rates for blacks are persistently twice that of whites. Black children born into poverty are less likely to rise up the income ladder than whites.

In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously and controversially warned: a “tangle of pathologies” among black families would hinder their progress.

The Urban Institute’s recent “The Moynihan Report Revisited” documented the striking deterioration of the nuclear family since then. Today 73% of births are to black women who aren’t married, 25% in 1963.

More than half of all black children live in a home without their biological father. Only about one-quarter of black women over age 18 are married and living with their spouses, half the fraction of the 1960s.

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