America’s jobs crisis is hurting everyone. But for African-American communities, it’s a catastrophe. Unless America takes immediate steps to create jobs now—jobs where the people are—the damage will become even more entrenched, threatening generations of African Americans. So many of the communities we live in were in economic freefall before this recession even started. The demise of manufacturing and construction jobs robbed millions of us entry to the middle class and plunged African-American communities into economic tatters. More than 16 percent of African Americans are officially unemployed—and that’s not counting those who can only find part-time jobs or have just given up looking for work altogether. Unemployment has shrunk local tax bases, eroding education and destroying public jobs, public services, public safety and, in general, the quality of life in our communities. In the metropolitan areas with the nation’s highest unemployment rates, most of the residents are black. And the places where blacks live were deliberately targeted for subprime lending schemes—so we’ve been disproportionately slammed by foreclosures and bankruptcies. This is no ordinary recession. The fabric of whole communities has been unraveled. The economic scarring of African Americans may endure for generations. The child who is hungry today and can’t… Read full this story
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