1-in-4 Disenfranchised Youth is an African American Male
According to a new study by the Social Science Resource Council, one out of every seven American youth between the ages of 16 and 24 is either not working or not in school. This gives 5.8 million “disconnected youth.”
African American youth are worst off, with one-in-five of them being without a job or going to school. Boys comprise 26 percent of the American total, compared with 19 percent of the total being black girls. In other words, one out of every four disenfranchised youth in America is a black male.
“Disconnected youth are, not surprisingly, considerably more likely to come from disconnected communities – areas in which high rates of poverty are evidence of and contributors to isolation from mainstream social and economic systems,” the report says.
“Another strong link exists between connectedness of young people to work or school and the educational status of adults in their communities. Towns and neighborhoods in which fewer adults have at least a four-year college degree have a far greater proportion of disconnected young people.”
Boston, Minneapolis and Washington, DC have the fewest disconnected American youth. Researchers point to increased incarceration rates as a serious problem when dealing with black teens.
“A prison record deters employers, but research shows that ex-offenders who are African-American are far less likely than ex-offenders who are white to be granted a job interview or be hired,” the study says. “In addition, because significantly more Black than white young men have criminal records, even young African-American men without criminal records appear to suffer from ‘guilt-by-association’ discrimination.”