Posted April 27, 2006 – As Black men slip further down the social ladder, who should be held responsible for improving their lot?
With that question in mind, Congress earlier this week authorized the state of Florida to examine issues like poverty, employment and dropout rates in hopes of generating statistics that anti-poverty advocates will use to determine how federal dollars should be spent on prevention programs, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.
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Ronald B. Mincy, professor of social work at Columbia University and editor of "Black Males Left Behind," said, "There's something very different happening with young Black men, and it's something we can no longer ignore."
"Over the last two decades, the economy did great," Mincy said, "and low-skilled women, helped by public policy, latched onto it. But young Black men were falling farther back."
With Congress acknowledging this as an issue worth researching, this could be a step toward finding a resolution, some say. If the Senate gives the bill (HB 21) the green light – which passed 116-0 in the House – legislative experts would study issues like poverty and drop-out rates of Black men and boys living in Florida, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Rep. Frank Peterman (D-Fla.), who pushed for the creation of the "Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys," wants eventually to create a center at Florida A&M University to house the council.
Anti-poverty advocates said the study would stress personal responsibility and generate statistics they hope will bolster their efforts to spend more tax dollars on prevention programs, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Recent scholarly studies have revealed that young Black men have suffered more lately, despite the "booming" economy.
According to experts at Columbia, Harvard and Princeton universities who extensively examined the lives of young Black men, large numbers of them are poorly educated, and are being ignored and doing worse than similarly situated Whites and Hispanics.
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