According to a recent report, black men are no better off than they were in the 1970s. The report, The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch, analyzed data collected by the U.S. Census from 1940 to 1980 to document important relative black progress in the country. 

From the National Bureau of Economic Research:

[Studies reveal that] the growth of incarceration rates among black men in recent decades combined with the sharp drop in black employment rates during the Great Recession have left most black men in a position relative to white men that is really no better than the position they occupied only a few years after the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

A move toward more punitive treatment of arrested offenders drove prison growth in recent decades, and this trend is evident among arrested offenders in every major crime category.

Read more at the National Bureau of Economic Research

The study also found that changes in the severity of corrections policies have had a much larger impact on black communities than white communities.

This is largely due to the fact that arrest rates have historically been much greater for blacks.

It is critical that researchers continue to conduct studies that reveal the injustice faced by blacks in America. Hopefully lawmakers will pay attention and make some serious changes to laws that unfairly target black men, women and youth.


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