A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that African American children living in the Midwest and the South are have a more difficult time achieving success.
The report titled Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, “explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity.” Researchers used 12 indicators to measure success, including fourth grade reading level, eighth grade math levels, high school students graduating on time, percentage of teen girls having babies, children living in two-parent households, and more. While the report found no racial group, including whites, has met the national milestones, children of color have a particularly difficult time finding success.
Race for Results notes that for African American children (which, for the purposes of the report, includes Black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa), the situation is “dire,” particularly in Southern and “rust belt” states where opportunities for success are poorest.
Race for Results states:
The states scoring the lowest on the index for African Americans are located in the South (e.g., Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina) and the Midwest (e.g., Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois). Conditions in the American South have always been especially difficult for African Americans. While great strides have been made, it will require public will and greater investments to overcome the vestiges of a system of institutional discrimination that till plague the region.
According to the report, 18-percent of U.S.-born Blacks read at or above grade level, compared with just seven-percent of Black immigrants. Similarly, 14-percent of U.S.-born Black eighth graders are proficient in Math, compared to a mere 2-percent of Black immigrants. While language barriers may be account for these disparities, Black immigrants are more likely to live in two-parents homes than their American-born counterparts (66% vs. 32%).
Race for Results writers concludes: “It is time to recognize that our nation can and must do much more to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential in life regardless of their race, ethnicity or community of residence.”