By W. Bradford Wilcox, Wendy R. Wang, and Ronald B. Mincy
Updated 4:33 PM ET, Tue July 3, 2018
W. Bradford Wilcox (@WilcoxNMP), a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Wendy R. Wang is director of research at the Institute for Family Studies. Ronald B. Mincy is Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice and director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being at Columbia University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are theirs.(CNN)In recent years, much of the racial news in America has been sobering, if not depressing. Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Ferguson. Baltimore. And Charlottesville. While many public commentators , like Te-Nehisi Coates, have underlined the enduring character of racism in America, and the ways in which America’s racial divide has exacted a particular kind of toll on black men and boys, there is today, unheralded, good news about African-American men.
W. Bradford Wilcox
Ronald B. Mincy
Despite a portrait of race relations that often highlights the negative, especially regarding black men (many Americans, according to a 2006 study by the Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University, believed that crime, unemployment, and poverty are endemic among African-American men), the truth is that most black men will not be incarcerated, are not unemployed, and are not poor — even if black men are more likely than other men to experience these outcomes.In fact, millions of black men are flourishing in America today.Our new report, “Black Men Making It In America,” spotlights two pieces of particular good news about the economic well-being of black men.First, the share of black men in poverty has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18% today. Second, and more importantly, the share of black men in the middle or upper class — as measured by their family income — has risen from 38% in 1960 to 57% today. In other words, about one-in-two black men in America have reached the middle class or higher.