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Gloomy Outlook for Black America, Scholars Conclude

Herbert Boyd | , Nnpa | 3/19/2012, 2:06 p.m.

Movement was to empower and create a Black upper class while ignoring the Black lower class. Our Black billionaires sold their businesses and cashed out.

"We have to get back to a bottom-up movement," he continued. "It's time to get back on track."

Getting back on track, he insisted, would entail paying attention to the GOP and its aim to suppress the Black and minority vote and, with the help of the Supreme Court, put an end to afrmative action.

"I agree with Dr. Anderson: We must, in the tradition of Frederick Douglass, agitate, agitate, agitate!"

Many of the dismal conclusions recited by Wilson merely con rmed what Anderson had already presented.

And like Anderson, he said it "will take generation for the Black family to catch up with the white family" in terms of wealth and income.

"Seventy percent of Black children who now live in poor communities will continue to live there as adults," Wilson added.

The shift in demographics, he explained, has created largely African-American core centers in our major cities. "The Black middle class has abandoned the inner city and now populates the suburbs," he said.

So what's to be done? "President Obama, rather than specifying a bill that

would target Black Americans, needs to create a bill designed to create public sector jobs," Wilson said.

Of course, most of the people who would benet from such a bill would be Blacks.

Kahlenberg's report was equally depressing as he focused on the gross disparities between Black and white school children.

He observed that since Black primary and secondary students attend schools in poor areas, they are less likely to receive a quality education and not get the same books, new technology or audio-visual equipment as a white school district.

Unlike one of the conclusions reported by Wilson, Kahlenberg said that Black students perform "better when given a chance to attend better schools."

His solution to some of the problems hindering Black empowerment centers around what he calls "a new type of afirmative action," one based not on race but on class.

"Blacks would still be the greatest beneiciary of an economic approach, since they are the worst off," Kahlenberg concluded.

After four hours, with other pressing engagements, it wasn't possible to hear Velma Murphy Hill's summary, but it's conceivable that she ar-

rived at a conclusion very similar to the one in the article back in 1936, which declared that another step is necessary for a better "prescription for the future."

In other words, past is prologue--or the more things change, the more they remain the same.