National Urban League: State Of Black America - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

If African Americans were considered three-fifths (60%) of a person in 1788 when the framers of the Constitution counted slaves for tax purposes, then their economic value in 2004 amounts to less than three-fourths (73%) when compared to their white counterparts, states the National Urban League in its State of Black America 2004 Equality Index.

The Equality Index measures disparities between blacks and whites in economics, housing, education, health, social justice, and civic engagement. Of those six categories, civic engagement was the only area where blacks outranked whites, partly due to the number of blacks who volunteer in the military.

According to the report, leveling the playing field would require that an additional 23,698 black students earn bachelor’s degrees from four-year colleges every year. It would also require that 751,000 blacks find employment and that three white businesses fold for every black startup.

Hindrances to wealth creation are keeping African Americans from the full enjoyment of their American citizenship. Banks deny blacks mortgages and home improvement loans at twice the rate of whites. According to the report, less than 50% of black families own their homes, versus 70% of whites. Moreover, black homes are valued, on average, at $42,800 less than white homes.

Also in the Urban League’s report is a national poll that examines the attitudes of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans pertaining to the quality of life in their communities and pertinent social, economic, and political issues. Fifty-four percent of the African Americans surveyed said that things will remain the same or get worse for them, identifying race as the key concern. Fifty-one percent of the African Americans surveyed were more optimistic about the quality of life improving for Latinos and Asian Americans.

“This is by no means to deny — or not to celebrate — the progress [blacks have] made,” says National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial about the report, “[but rather] to advance the conversation about equality in America among Americans.”

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.