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‘Wealth Disparity Has Gotten Wider’: State of Black America is Grim, National Urban League Reports

Civil rights organization the National Urban League released its annual report on the State of Black America on April 12, and while its findings on such issues as housing, health and education are not surprising, a look at all the data shows that the state of Black America is grim.

Photo by Joshua Mcknight:

It’s 2022 and Black Americans still aren’t living the American Dream. This year’s Equality Index, according to the National Urban League, shows Black people still get only 73.9 percent of the American pie white people get to enjoy, as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

While Black people have made economic gains, they’ve slipped farther behind whites in education, social justice and civic engagement since the National Urban League’s State of Black America was first launched in 2005. The data illustrates how difficult it still is for people of color to overcome systemic racism.

The median household income for Black people, at $43,862, is 37 percent less than that of white people, at $69,823. The index also found that Black people also are less likely to benefit from homeownership, the engine of generational wealth in America. Using the latest U.S. Census data, the index concluded that Black couples are more than twice as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage or a home improvement loan, which leads to just 59 percent of the median home equity white households have and just 13 percent of their wealth.

“These numbers change so little and so slowly. It tells me that this institutional disparity based on race seems to be built into American society,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.

He added, “In that wealth area, we’ve seen almost no change, none, since the civil rights days. The wealth disparity has gotten wider.”

Educational gaps persist. “Schools with more minority students are more likely to have inexperienced, less trained, and even uncertified teachers. Fewer of these students are enrolled in the STEM classes, leading to higher-paying jobs. Black students are less likely to graduate from college,” AP reported.

Morial released the report in Atlanta because of its concentration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Georgia is ground zero for voter suppression,” Morial said. The legislature’s actions after Jan. 6 have been sweeping in their aggressiveness to suppress the vote. We’ve got to remain resolute, to push back against this. We cannot give in. We cannot give up.”

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