Can the Black Middle Class Survive: Obama Is in the Oval Office but the Black Bourgeoisie is Foundering
The article published earlier this month is from a website truth-out.org, it seems relevant to our general community often advertised as a black middle class area. Would like to hear your thoughts on this. I urge you to read the entire article beyond the excerpt I will post below:
And yet, when the Obamas moved into the White House, the country's economy was already in free fall, and its fragile black middle class was, to put it simply, vanishing. Between 2005 and 2009, the year the Great Recession officially ended, the average black household's wealth fell by more than half, to $5,677, even as their white peers held about $113,000 in assets. Nearly one-quarter of African-Americans have no assets besides a car, and roughly the same share have lost their homes, or they're close. The African-American unemployment rate hovers around 14 percent, and according to a Pew report released in July, nearly 70 percent of blacks raised in families at the middle of the wealth ladder fall to the bottom two rungs as adults. The exodus of blacks from cities like Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans and even Detroit is driving a sense of eroding political power. Perhaps most depressingly, one in three black boys can expect to be incarcerated at some point in his life.Again read the whole thing and PLEASE share YOUR thoughts here!
It's tricky, explaining what it means to be black in America at this peculiar moment, mainly because the narrative's dominant theme is decline. "You're airing our dirty laundry," a black lawyer told me over brunch one recent Sunday, after I explained this story's theme. In the fall of 2009, shortly after I began a 14-month reporting assignment in Detroit for Time magazine, a black doctor threw a party at her sprawling home in the city's leafy Palmer Woods neighborhood, one of the last relatively affluent enclaves. Much of the region, particularly African-Americans, were outraged over the opening stories in our coverage, so the hostess, and her friends, wanted a word. The essential message: Inside Time's pages, pretend the black middle class is doing just fine.
It was delusional. Detroit is the country's most populous majority-black city. Historically, it's had one of America's highest black homeownership rates. But more than one-third of the city's black borrowers — including some of the martini-sipping doctors, lawyers, politicos and auto execs in the room that October night — have lost their homes, or they're on the brink. The truth is, many of us are on a cliff, watching this widening gulf of black poverty and dysfunction, fearful that we're just a heartbeat or two away.
Something is happening in the culture that conflicts with the dreamy image of black progress that Obama's presidency projects. In this supposedly post-racial moment, we no longer even have the license, or the language, to identify a fundamental source of the problems we see mounting in the offices in Chicago's Loop, and on the streets of suburban Orlando: the enduring effects of racism. That's no longer an acceptable explanation for society at large. Hardly anyone, it seems, wants to admit the truth: nearly a half-century of financial, political and social gains are being reversed, perhaps permanently, and the post-civil rights era may come to resemble Reconstruction's fleeting progress. "The whole premise of the civil rights movement was to give our children a better future than we had. But it's all going backwards," said Marian Wright Edelman, a veteran of that movement, adding: "We face the worst crisis since slavery."