A Policy framework for racial justice

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Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies, Incorporated, 1983 - Social Science - 22 pages
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Black Americans are represented disproportionately among the chronically poor, unemployed, and underemployed. Their most urgent problems can best be addressed by focusing on three overlapping areas: the progress of the economy, the condition of the black family, and educational opportunity. First, blacks have always been structurally excluded from the American economy, but they are suffering from problems that ostensibly have little to do with race. These include deindustrialization, shifting employment patterns, and changing central city demographics. Achieving full employment requires: (1) rational governemnt involvement in the economy; (2) a social contract between business, labor, professional associations, and government; and (3) the gradual replacement of stigmatizing public assistance programs with more universal forms of social welfare. On the other hand, the present black family crisis--characterized by the growth of poor, female-headed households--is directly related to racism. Government programs addressing this problem must be redesigned and reconceptualized. Black youth must be encouraged to pursue education and delay family formation, and the stability of black husband-wife families must be reinforced. Finally, in the area of education, blacks face three basic problems: (1) lack of access to quality public education in grades K-12; (2) underrepresentation in postsecondary degree programs; and (3) adult illiteracy. Solutions must come from every level of society, from the school district to the Federal government. The Federal government must play a continuing role in financing equal educational opportunity and enforcing school desegregation. (KH)

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