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The Carolina times. (Durham, N.C.) 1919-current, December 18, 1982, Page 17, Image 17

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SATURDAY, CCEK20t II, i::2-TK2 tfZZLGX Blacks In America: Some Bains But Still Far Behind Whites . American blacks have come a long way in the past 20 years but are stil I far from closing the gap With whites, says Howard University : sociology professor John k America , in Hhe 1980s, released ; . recently ' in Washington, D.C., ; by I the private, nonprofit Population Reference "Bureau..:-", ;' V.,u-v;i- sions on a review ; of demographic and socio economic changes in the black population par ticularly since the 1962 second edition of Gun nar . Myrdal's classic study , of American blacks, An American Dilemma. In that book (first published in 1944) Myrdal argued that the professed American , Creed of "liberty, equality, justice, and fair opportunity for everybody" had in prac tice been extended least of all to blacks. Reid observes that the civil rights, movement launched in the 1950's, along with the Great Society in the 1960s, did give many blacks a boost up the socio-economic ladder. But at the outset of the 1980s, "the pic-. ture is far from being as rosy as it might be," he claims. "Demographically blacks , are approaching the norm in migration and in overall fertility, though black teenage and out-of-wedlock childbearing remain troublesome," he says. Blacks . are nearing the "median range" in education attainment and entering the white collar occupations, if at lower levels than whites. "But when one considers the dismal record on mortality, steady employment, and in come, it becomes clear that a move by American blacks into mainstream miacue-ciass America is not imminent," he con cludes. Further, he sees what gains blacks have made . now being. threatened by the current administration's cut backs of. federally sup ported social programs and sharply changed at titude as to government's role in protecting civil rights, plus the current flood of immigrants into the U.S. "who compete directly for the low-level 'obs on which many lacks must still rely." One-Ninth Of The Total Tl i sn . inc iov census counted 26.5 million blacks, 11.7 per cent (over one-ninth) of the total U.S. population, the 226.S million. In the first census of 1790, the nation's 750,000 blacks comprised nearly one fifth of the U.S. popula tion. This proportion gradually , dropped because immigration has since added almost uninterruptedly to the white ' population, while black immigration even-; tually ceased after the importing of slaves was' banned in 1808. (Black immigration has picked up in recent years with arrival of increasing numbers of Africans and Caribbean blacks.) By 1930 the black propor tion of the total was down to 9.7 per cent, but has since increased slow ly, due mainly to the black-white fertility dif ferential. Because of higher fer tility, the black popula tion has always been , "younger" than the white population, with a current median age of 25. compared to the white median of 31. Along with this more youthful population goes a higher "dependency ratio" 92 persons under 15 over 64 for every 1 blacks in the 'working ages" (15-64) compared to just 74 for whites a fact that "has important implications for integra tion," Reid points out. On one score, blacks outstrip whites, . ; he reports; The 1980 Census found 85 per cent of blacks living in urban areas versus 71 per cent of whites. This reflects blacks' long trek out of rural areas in the South to industrial centers of the North, beginning after World War I. In the 1970's this historical pattern was reversed as blacks joined the general . migration stream to or back to the South. For blacks, this did not - mean a return to rural . living (a trend among whites) but urban blacks began to follow whites to the suburbs in the 1970s. However, blacks still ; make up only 6 per cent : of the nation's suburban population and the over " whelming majority of blacks remain segregated in central cities, , Reid notes. In 1960 Washington, D.C., was the only ' metropolitan central city of over 100,000 residents with a . black majority. By 1980 there were eight more: Gary, Indiana, Atlanta, Detroit, Newark, Birm ingham, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Rich mond, Virginia. Higher Fertility And Mortality Like whites, blacks have experienced a baby bust since the mid-1960's, Reid observes, but still average a higher 2.3 bir ths per woman compared to 1.8 for white women. Black teenage fertility rates, while now falling as with white teenagers, are still still two to three times those of white teenagers, and out-of-wedlock fertility remains high 55 per cent of all black births compared to 9 per cent for whites in 1979, according to the latest available figures. Black leaders are now organizing to tackle these problems, Reid says, along with the related problem of large numbers of . female headed families. In 1980, single parents (mostly mothers) with children made up 31 per cent of all black families com pared with 10 per cent for the general popula tion a reflection also of blacks' higher rates of separation and divorce, Reid points out. clacks have made signifi cant gains since the turn of the century when the average black newborn could expect to live only 33 years compared to 48 years for white newborns. But the latest data for 1979 show ; black life expectancy still six years short of whites' (68.3 years versus 74.4 years) and black infant mortality nearly double that of whites (21.8 deaths under age one for 1,000 births versus the white of 11.4). The Continuing , Socio-economic Lag "Many of these gaps are related to blacks' continuing socio economic disadvantages," says , Reid. Among others, he notes: Though blacks age 25 and over now report nearly as many years of schooling as whites, on average (12.0 versus 12.5 years), only 8 per cent of black adults compared to 18 per cent of whites can boast of a college degree "the admission ticket to socio-economic ad vancement." College enrollment of blacks ag ed 18-24 nearly doubled from 10 per cent in 1965 to 19 per cent in 1981, but may now slow with current cutbacks in ' federal student loans. fin 1981, 40 per cent of black workers were in white collar jobs com pared to 54 per cent of whites up from just 1 1 per cent and less than a third of the figure for whites in 1960. But blacks are still under represented in the best paying jobs . among men, blacks make up on ly 2 to 3 per cent of engineers, physicians, lawyers, and college pro fessors. Black womendo better at 5 to 7 per cent of all female physicians, lawyers, and college teachers (though very few are engineers). Black median family income inched up to 62 per cent of the median for white families in . , 1975, but dropped back . to 56 per cent of the white level in, 1981 $13,266 versus $23,517 below the 57 per cent level of 1960. ln 1981, 30.8 per cent of black families fell below , the Census Bureau's poverty level 3 J times the 8.8 per cent of ' white families classified as poor. This . was slightly greater that the gap in 1959 (48 per, cent versus 15 per cent) when the Census Bureau began measuring poverty- -v-,-."-,, In October 1982v the black unemployment rate (20.2 per cent) was more than twice the unemployment rate of white (9.3 per cent) also a gap that has per sisted as long as such statistics have been gathered. f- Reid finds the black unemployment figures particularly ominous. He points out that many blacks have been first fired in the current reces sion because they were the last hired and many won't be rehired because their jobs are being eliminatbd as the U.S. shifts from traditional industry to the high technology age. He urges "immediate and urgent" attention to upgrading of blacks' education, train ing, and retraining to meet the demands of the changing job market. To do otherwise, he insists, "risks creating an even larger and more perma nent underclass within; the black population," with only. a few blacks; 4 making . , it into mainstream middle-class ; American society. And for the blacks that do make it, social barriers . must be 'tackled to change what Reid observes is, now labled "a second-class middle class." ' Reid holds the Ph.D. in sociology from the University of' Chicago 4f ( i and has published and conducted national con ferences on the demography and health of ' American ' blacks. Among his academic posts prior to joining the sociology department of Howard University in Washington, D.C., he was Ware Professor and chairman of J the sociology department of Atlanta ' University, where he also served editor of Phylon and director ofthe W.E.B. DuBois Institute for the Study of the American Black. J Reid's 3-pagc report j on Black America in the , 1980s appears as the lastest Population Balled of the Popula tion Reference Bureau, a private, nonprofit educa tional organization located in Washington, DC. it Ml--" A tf - i t y v i 1 I, I VI r iV iVmiii II Willi HI iiiiiih . . . , ' trJSI : - i-i j- ' NATIONAL 4 H CONGRESS CHICAGO CHlCAtrO Ms. Dawn Dickerson, 5408 Newhall Rd,, was one of 35 North Carolina 4-H merhbers who attended the 61st National 4-H Con gress in Chicago, III. She is shown with Lathan Smith, Jr., 4-H program leader with Agricultural Extension Service at North Carolina State Universi ty. Ms. Dickerson, 16-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Dickerson, Jr., received her trip from Simplicity Pattern Co. as state winner in the 4-H fashion revue. She modeled in the national 4-H fashion revue. You can learn to write, make money and have fun at The Carolina Times The Carolina Times needs good free lance writers! We need feature writers, sports writers and writers who can pro duce in-depth, comprehensive and hard-hitting articles on subjects ranging from urban affairs to arts and culture. By writing for us on a free lance basis, you can keep your present job or go to school and learn a well-paying profession at the same time. No Experience Is Needed! We teach you all yob need to know. Here's how it works. You start out by attending our free six-weeks workshop "How to Write for The Carolina Times." It meets once a week from 7 to 9 p.m. After that, you are given assignments, and helped along on skills such as research, interviewing, developing sources. And We Pay You Too! . We are currently paying the top free lance rates in this market, and obviously, the more you learn, the better you write, the more we pay. Don't miss an outstanding opportunity. For more information, send your resume, and a one-page report: "Why I Want to Write for The Carolina Times" to Milton Jordan, Executive Editor, P.O. Box 3825, Durham, N.C. 27702. Here comes -;- ii-..' X, .',.' V-;-.i . v-4, .'i - Afresh new taste experience that outshines menthol. It not only tastes fresher while you smoke. It even leaves you with a clean, fresh taste. i A 7 mg. "tar", 0.5 mg. nicotine av.per cigarette by FTC method. Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health. 3 WXWm tffM4tfeb

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