At protests against police brutality these past several months, demonstrators could be heard chanting "Black Lives Matter," a slogan created by activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. Some attempted to revise the statement, using "All Lives Matter" instead. But as countless injustices become a daily occurrence, it is a reminder that emphasis needs to be put on the value of African-American lives.
Now it seems that many mainstream publications are catching up to the reality of Black Americans. In early April, TIME magazine's cover read "Black Lives Matter" following the shooting death of Walter Scott by a police officer that was captured on video by a bystander. This week, The New York Times published "1.5 Million Missing Black Men" in their news, analysis and data visualization section, "The Upshot."
"Across the country, hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared from everyday life," the report states. The authors used data from the 2010 census to create the analysis.
For every 100 Black women who are not incarcerated, there are 83 Black men. In childhood, there are about the same amount of Black boys and Black girls, but as they age, a gender gap begins to widen, with Black men disappearing much quicker than Black women. For whites, the population of both genders is about equal through to adulthood.
The report goes on to point out the "disappearance" of Black men especially between the ages of 25 and 54. The main cause of this is incarceration and early deaths. Of the 1.5 million who are missing, 600,000 of them are behind bars. Homicide is also a huge issue, as well as health conditions, such as heart disease and respiratory disease.
The gender gap is most prevalent in the South, areas in the Midwest and the larger metropolitan areas in the northeast. For smaller towns that have at least 10,000 Blacks, Ferguson, Mo., has the lowest ratio of Black men — with 60 men for every 100 Black women. The towns Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Highland Springs, Va., follow close behind.
New York City has the highest number of missing Black men at 118,000. Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Memphis are listed as having the next highest numbers of "missing" Black men.
In essence, this report reiterates an ongoing issue, but fails to mention the factors causing the higher incarceration rates, homicide rates and lagging health of African-American men.
Read the full report here.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.
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