Report Looks at Well-Being of Black Men Living in the South, Encourages Policy Changes
The Foundation for the Mid South, hoping to prompt policy changes that improve the lives of black men in the South, released a report last week examining the health, education and wealth disparities of black men in the region, the AP/New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Blacks represent 26% of the population in the mid-South and 12% of the U.S. population, according to the AP/Times-Picayune.
Chris Crothers, author of the report, studied black males ages 16 to 44 in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi and found that they are more likely to be uninsured, drop out of school or die in a homicide when compared with their white counterparts. In Mississippi, for example -- where blacks make up more than one-third of the state's population -- 46.9% of black males are uninsured, compared with 25.3% of white males. The region's poverty rate is 17.3%, about 5% higher than the national average.
State Rep. George Flaggs (D), chair of the Mississippi House Banking Committee, said, "We have to create policies that make education and health care more accessible to young black males," adding, "That has not been a priority. That's the problem." He urged for more tax credits and incentives to improve economic conditions in the region.
Crothers said, "A lot of these conversations are being held nationally, but not in our region. We don't have an initiative that focuses just on black males." He added, "We feel that there should be a field that's developed around these issues" (Byrd, AP/New Orleans Times-Picayune, 12/8).
The report is available online (.pdf).