ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 



Fewer than 50% of black families own their own homes, vs. over 70% of whites / Blacks are denied mortgages

and home improvement loans at twice the rate of whites / Black males mean income is 70% of white males ($16,876 gap),

black females mean income is 83% of white counterparts ($6,370 difference)



African Americans’ Status Is 73% Of Whites 

Says New “State Of Black America” 2004 Report

National Urban League’s Report Shows Black Progress Is On Shaky Ground

Equality Gaps Remain In Jobs, Wealth, Education, Health And Social Justice


State Of Black America


Washington, DC, March 24, 2004— How much closer is America to achieving equality between blacks and whites since the civil rights movement? Not close enough, and black progress is precarious at best according to a report released today by the National Urban League, “The State of Black America 2004”.

As part of The State of Black America 2004: The Complexity of Black Progress, the League unveiled its first “Equality Index” a statistical measurement of the disparities that exist between blacks and whites in economics, housing, education, health, social justice and civic engagement. (Assigning whites a weighted index value of 1, the Equality Index value of less than 1 means blacks are doing worse than whites in a category, while a value of 1 or more means Blacks are doing equal doing better)

The report finds that despite substantial progress, the status of African Americans is .73, or 73%, when compared to their white counterparts.

“African-American progress has been precarious since the civil rights era. While there have been increases in business formation, home ownership and educational attainment, equality gaps remain between blacks and whites, particularly in the area of economics,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “As our nation becomes more racially diverse, we must work together to close these disparities. This is crucial if America is to maintain its position as an economic power and world leader.”

Highlights of the Equality Index Findings in Five Areas include:

Economics – Black economic status measures 56% of white counterparts

Health - Blacks’ health status measures 78% of whites

Education - Total educational performance is 76% as compared to whites

Social Justice – When it comes to equality under the law, blacks’ status is 73%

Civic Engagement – Blacks out measure whites in the area of civic engagement (voter registration, volunteerism, government service at 1.08)

1. Economics: Blacks’ overall economic status measures .56 of white counterparts

Fewer than 50% of black families own their own homes, vs. over 70% of whites

Blacks are denied mortgages and home improvement loans at twice the rate of whites

Black males mean income is 70% of white males ($16,876 gap), black females mean income is 83% of white counterparts ($6,370 difference)

2. Education: Blacks’ overall educational status is .76 of whites

Teachers with less than 3 years experience teach in minority schools at twice (2x) the rate that they teach in white schools

49% of black students’ teachers lack a college minor in the subject they taught vs. 40% of white students’ teachers

Blacks attain college degrees at 63% of whites counterparts

3. Health: Black health status measures .78 vs. whites

On average blacks are 2X as likely to die from disease, accident, behavior and homicide at every stage of life than whites

Life expectancy for blacks is 72 years vs. 78 years for whites

4. Social Justice: Blacks conditions are .73 that of whites

A black person’s average jail sentence is six months longer than a white’s for the same crime; that is 39 months versus 33 months

Blacks who are arrested are 3 times more likely to be imprisoned than whites

Black felons are less likely to get probation than white felons for the same offense

5. Civic Engagement: Blacks measure 1.08 vs. whites

Blacks out measure whites in terms of government service and union membership.

Military volunteerism is 1.45, indicating substantially more blacks volunteer in the military

In addition, The State of Black America 2004 features a new national poll that surveyed comparative attitudes of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans concerning the quality of life, education, finances, discrimination, and pertinent social issues. (Between January 28th and February 10th, 700 African American and 200 Hispanic American and 200 Asian American adult respondents, respectively, were interviewed. The poll has a Margin of Error of + or – 4 percent)

NUL Survey Results Highlights

52% Disagree with direction of the country: 52% of the total respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction; (62%) of African Americans; 40% of Hispanic Americans and 25% of Asian Americans.

Respondents on public education- 52% of all respondents rate public education as fair to poor, African Americans 56%, Hispanic Americans 50% and Asian Americans 32%.

88% of all respondents support early childhood education

55% of all respondents want voting ban for ex-felons lifted, 88% believe in alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders

40% of blacks believe “little progress” - Forty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 40% of black respondents feel “very little/no improvement” has been achieved in economics and social mobility

Finally, The State of Black America 2004 publication continues its rich tradition of essays and commentaries from leading scholars and thinkers who give their perspectives on the reasons why the disparities exist and offer solutions to closing the gaps. For example, African American Economic Well-Being during the Boom and Bust by economist Samuel Myers, Jr. discusses why increases in black income in the 90’s not only didn’t increase black wealth, but the wealth gap actually widened.

Other essays and commentaries include Brown at 50: Considering the Continuing Legal Struggle for Racial Justice by Charles J. Olgetree, Jr., State of Education in Black America by Edmund W. Gordon, and Health and Quality of Life Among African Americans by David R. Williams, Security Must Never Trump Liberty, by Dennis Archer, The Empowerment Movement and the Black Male by James Lanier, PhD, The Transformation of the Welfare Caseload by Kenya L Covington, Gaps, Traps and Lies: African-American Students and Test Scores by Ronald O. Ross, and Five Things You Must have to Run a Business by Melinda F. Emerson.

The Urban League is committed to filling the equality gaps through measures such as job training and housing development assistance. Mr. Morial envisions an America that has achieved true equality. “The point is to keep our eyes on the prize of African Americans and all people of color striving to achieve their full measure of American citizenship and opportunity. That is the ultimate purpose of the work here,” Morial added. “It is time to dream bigger dreams”.

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "As our nation becomes more racially diverse, we must work together to close these disparities. This is crucial if America is to maintain its position as an economic power and world leader."


*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *


Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)






update 25 February 2012




Home  The Economy  Religion & Politics   The Du Bois-Malcolm-King   

Related files:  State of the Dream  White Privilege Shapes the U.S.   State Of Black America   state of black nation 2005   The State of the Dream 2005    Myths of Low-Wage Workers      Skip Gates and the Talented Fifth 

 Responses to Skip Gates  The State of HBCUs   The State of Black Journalism   Press Release from United for a Fair Economy