The Black America 2013 report shows a mix of achievement and disparity between African American and their white countrymen.

While the country celebrate the achievements that have been witnessed in the last 50 years such as the Civil Rights Movement, the 1963 March on Washington, it is also important to look at how the blacks have fare so far.

Each year, the National Urban League carries out a research to monitor the achievement of African Americans. The 2013 State of Black America result paints a picture of mixed achievements. On one hand is positive achievement and on the other is an on-going racial gap.

The report, entitled “State of Black America-Redeem The Dream: Jobs Rebuild America,” show African Americans have made significant progress in getting education and employment but on the other hand, there is a gap between income earned by the blacks and the white as while as job attainment.

The report credits the civil rights measures enacted to open the doors of opportunity for Blacks for the progress made in education and standard of living:

According to the report, progress in the black communities is as a result of the civil rights measures brought into force. It said the act is responsible for the progress the blacks have made in their standard of education. Below are some of the areas improvements were witnessed.

Education:

  • The high school completion gap has closed by 57 percentage points.
  • There is more than triple the number of Blacks enrolled in college.
  • For every college graduate in 1963, there are now five.

Standard of Living:

  • The percentage of Blacks living in poverty has declined by 23 points.
  • The percentage of Black children living in poverty has fallen by 22 points.
  • The percentage of Blacks who own their home has increased by 14 points.

While there is a lot to celebrate at how much progress the black American community has witnessed over the last 50, there is a stark gap when it comes to closing the racial gap between blacks and whites.

  • In the past 50 years, the Black-White income gap has only closed by 7 points (now at 60%).
  • The unemployment rate gap has only closed by 6 points (now at 52%).
  • As in 1963, the Black/white unemployment ratio is still about 2-to-1–regardless of education, gender, region of the country, or income level.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that in February only about 6.8 white Americans had no job while the black community witnessed a staggering 13.8 per cent. The Hispanics, with a 9.6 unemployment also fare better than the African American community.

Some say President Barack Obama is responsible for the disparity in progress between white and black Americans while other says there are other reasons responsible for the gap.

Those who blame Obama say his failed job policies are responsible for the high rate of unemployment in African American communities.

According to Marc Morial, the President and CEO of National Urban League, the continuing push to reduce unemployment and increase education attainment levels will spur economic growth and help ease some of the nation’s fiscal challenges.

“As the budget debate continues in Washington on whether to cut critical program funding, the State of Black America 2013 highlights a harsh reality: budget-cutting fever will cause economic pneumonia,” he said in a press release. “If we are to move toward lasting economic recovery and full equality and empowerment, we must apply sustainable solutions — keenly focusing on jobs for all Americans and closing the gaps that result in a ‘tale of two Americas,” Morial added.

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