Report: Poverty especially damaging for black boys

Through decades of research and published reports, we’ve been shown how damning poverty can be for anyone. But for minorities, specifically black boys, being poor impacts how they learn and earn in the future.

A new research paper put forth by researchers from Stanford University shows that fixed, or even generational, poverty severely impacts poor black boys more than any other subset of children.

The study found that poor black girls, or just poor girls, will likely find a job more quickly as adults than poor black boys. Poor black boys are less likely to attend schools or go to college.

Poverty is by no means measured in class to show which group has more than the other. It is classified to prove just how bad poverty can be on children, teenagers, and adults. It also shows how difficult of a cycle it is to break, even when circumstances are in the control of the now-adult poverty sufferers.

Out of all of the studies that we’ve seen, black Americans seem to have it worse than anyone else. It now seems that black boys are at the bottom of the totem pole.

The researchers also found that in some cases, criminal activity is more profitable than a regular job.

While men tend to enjoy male privilege economically and in labor participation, they are not extended the same courtesy when it comes to criminal activity.

Stanford’s researchers found that areas in the south are far more likely to keep boys in poverty than cities in the north. Likely due to economy opportunities that are found in cities like New York or even Pittsburgh compared to areas like Birmingham and Charlotte.

But what’s damning is criminal activity is more profitable in some cities than a regular job. Because many of these areas lack proper economic opportunity, many black boys fall into crime and are eventually jailed because of it.

Once released, their chances of landing gainful employment become severely limited. Hence the reason why poverty impacts them more than little girls.

From having high suspension rates in grade school to not having the financial means to attend college, report after report show just how unfair we’ve stacked the deck against black boys in this country. If we truly want to change how these men fare as adults, we need to start by changing our mentality of discipline and opportunity when they are still children.

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