Report Shows Black American Catching Hell

NEW YORK (BNW) — Black Americans are less likely than white Americans to own homes, don't earn as much as whites, don't live as long, and don't do as well in school, according to a report by the National Urban League and the list goes on.

The report, released last week, is a collection of survey data and essays by experts in race, social justice, health, psychology and civil rights.

The most conspicuous differences it found were in the areas of home ownership and economic parity, with black earning power about 73% that of whites.

"The wealth gap is significant," Urban League President Marc Morial said in an interview.

"There are a number of things we have to get much more focused on as a community: health, home ownership, estate planning, community economic development," said Morial, a former New Orleans mayor who was named president of the 93-year-old civil rights group last May.

The Urban League report found that blacks are denied mortgages and home improvement loans at twice the rate of whites.

About 68% of Americans own their homes, but the Census Bureau has reported that ownership among blacks and Hispanics is about 48%. Nearly 54% of Asian-Americans own their homes, compared with 75% of whites.

The report also found that, 50 years after the Supreme Court, in Brown vs. Board of Education, decreed segregated public schools unconstitutional, the performance of black students continues to trail that of their white counterparts.

The 2000 census found that 91.8% of white students graduated from high school, compared with 83.7% of black students.

"The as-yet unfinished process of implementing Brown has turned out to be nearly as slow as the process of tearing down the Jim Crow system that allowed the educational segregation challenged in Brown," Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree Jr. said in one of the report's essays.

The report also found:

• Teachers with less than three years of experience are twice as likely to work in predominantly minority schools as they are in predominantly white schools.

• On average, blacks are twice as likely to die from disease, accident and homicide than whites; the life expectancy for blacks is 72 years, or six years less than that of whites.

• The average prison sentence for a black person is six months longer than that for whites.

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