Recently on Feb 8, I quoted from the Wikipedia entry for “African-American” on our economic status. The comments I received in part showed that even black people have trouble seeing ourselves in a new light. We have been so conditioned by what we see in TV and hear on the radio to think of black people in America as uneducated, deprived, disadvantaged, diseased and dysfunctional. Listen up Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and other well-meaning people who want to “help minorities”. It’s time that all Americans sat up and looked around.

While poverty and its corresponding symptoms of poor education, income and healthcare still afflict African-Americans disproportionately, the facts show that we are an emerging economic power whose strength and contribution is growing. Sure, the nation was built on our sweat, blood and tears and America still owes us a great debt for that. Yet, from the Wikipedia, here are more facts you need to recognize if you want to work with us, help us, understand us.

Original links and footnotes can be found here. Emphasis mine. Note that the entry recently changed and deleted some interesting info comparing African-American wealth as comparable to that of Poland and 80% of Russia’s. I hope that gets added back in. The original entry I saw was even stronger and better-written and researched.

By 2003, sex had replaced race as the primary factor in life expectancy in the United States, with African American females expected to live longer than white males born in that year.[17] In the same year, the gap in life expectancy between American whites (78.0) and blacks (72.8) had decreased to 5.2 years, reflecting a long term trend of this phenomenon.[17] The current life expectancy of African Americans as a group is comparable to those of other groups who live in countries with a high human development index. In 2004, African American workers had the second-highest median earnings of American minority groups after Asian Americans, and African Americans had the highest level of male-female income parity of all ethnic groups in the United States.[18] Also, among American minority groups, only Asian Americans were more likely to hold white collar occupations (management, professional, and related fields),[19] and African Americans were no more or less likely than whites to work in the service industry.[20] In 2001, over half of African American households of married couples earned $50,000 or more.[20] Although in the same year African Americans were over-represented among the nation’s poor, this was directly related to the disproportionate percentage of African American families headed by single women; such families are collectively poorer, regardless of ethnicity.[20]

Collectively, African Americans are more involved in the American political process than other minority groups in the US, indicated by the highest level of voter registration and participation in elections among these groups in 2004. [3] African Americans collectively attain higher levels of education than immigrants to the United States.[21]

It’s time to stop feeling sorry for black people and structure outreach accordingly. We don’t want your noblesse oblige or your pity. But we do want to be partners with you in building a stronger nation both culturally and economically.

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