Are Black Graduates Getting Left Behind?

07 Mar

Keeping with today’s theme of race on the ThreadBlog (Does the NBA Have a Race Problem? and This…Foolery), I thought I’d hit you with one more issue to get your minds jogging this afternoon.  If you’d like a soundtrack while you read this, dig up Kanye West’s “College Dropout” and start on “School Spirit” (Track 14).  Now that you’re vibin’ and feelin’ good, let me hit you with some sobering news.

“College Degrees Won’t Shield Blacks From Unemployment”

-Black Americans have long suffered the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic group in the country, and this recession has only exacerbated a long-standing divergence.
-The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for black Americans in January was 15.7 percent, compared with 8 percent for whites. Although a recent report shows that the unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.9 percent in February, the Economic Policy Institute — a nonpartisan economic think tank — projects that national unemployment for blacks will reach a 25-year high this year, with the rates in five states exceeding 20 percent.
-At the end of 2010, black Americans, 25 years old and older, with a college education had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, while the rate for white college graduates was 4.2 percent

This is an interesting article that seems all too familiar. As a black man who has gone back to school to pursue graduate degrees, part of the reason I went back is because of this awful job market. It’s so very frustrating. I know many black 20-somethings have buried ourselves in the safe haven of school to wait out this recession and emerge more qualified and better prepared for Corporate America. The sad part is this “safe haven” comes with an expensive rent that we will be spending years trying to pay off. I’m hoping you’re on “Two Words” by now on the Kanye soundtrack. My two words for this damn trend: Hire me.


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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Education


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