50 years after the Kerner Commission, black Americans are not economically equal
50 years after the Kerner Commission delivered a report to President Johnson examining the causes of civil unrest in African American communities, a new EPI briefing paper compares the state of black workers and their families in 1968 with the economic circumstances African Americans face today.
EPI economic analyst Janelle Jones, Vice President John Schmitt, and economist Valerie Wilson find that while African Americans today are much better educated than they were in 1968—and in many ways better off in absolute terms than they were in 1968—they are still economically disadvantaged relative to whites.
“Black Americans have clearly put a tremendous amount of personal effort into improving their social and economic standing, but that effort only goes so far when you’re working within structures that were never intended to give equal outcomes,” said Wilson, Director of EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy.
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