HOUSTON - The National Urban League has released its State of Black America and many are calling the report "grim."
The Urban League says it’s been providing the State of Black America for 46 years to show research and data, not opinion or emotions regarding opportunities for African Americans. According to its 2022 report, inequality is changing slowly since civil rights laws were first put into place.
One figure from the State of Black America report states, that even in 2022 Blacks are only getting 74% of the American pie. Meaning, for instance, Blacks have a higher rate of incarceration, lower access to healthcare, job opportunities, and education.
"In all areas of education we still lag behind our white counterparts and that’s what this study evaluates," says President of the Houston Area Urban League Judson Robinson who also points out fair housing is still a major issue. "When it comes to the core of education, early education making sure children have access to Pre-K. Making sure kids are reading at grade level by 3rd grade. These are key indicators that will help us to ensure we’re ready for the advanced studies that are required for today’s modern jobs."
According to the report, Black couples are twice as likely to be denied mortgage or home improvement loans than Whites.
"If you’re not a homeowner you can not build wealth," Robinson adds. "So the more people you keep out of the wealth cycle, then the more likely you are to create other cycles that are not good."
The Urban League says the wealth disparity has gotten wider since the civil rights days with the average Black household income at less than $44,000 a year compared to just under $70,000 for Whites.
The report also highlights voting issues.
"We all know Senate Bill 1 tends to further disenfranchise and suppress, or make it harder for people, especially people of color to have access to the polls." Robinson goes on to say "That’s not going to help us when it comes to making decisions about our education if people who are most affected are not gained equal or good access to the ballot box. You have to have people who are affected who can bring the passion to the polls and then elect those who represent their thoughts and beliefs."
The state of Black America report tracks key areas such as economics, health, civic engagement, and social justice. The Urban League says it’s so difficult to overcome systemic racism because change is moving slowly causing Blacks to slip further behind.
The organization says it releases the report in hopes of presenting an accurate picture of what’s occurring, so solutions to the problem can be created. "We should all be treated with the same degree of fairness to reach the American dream. When our policies don’t reflect that then our democracy is under siege." Robinson says.