Report On Poverty Among The African American Community

Type of paper: Report

Topic: America, United States, Social Issues, Poverty, African American, Community, Society, Welfare

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/04

Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines

Poverty in the African American community is a rampant, albeit quieted topic. While it is something that is never quelled, but rather fuelled, polite society refuses to talk about it. More importantly, African Americans have been placed in a sociological cycle that often prohibits them from rising above their assumed poverty. They are born in poor neighborhoods, and while many do attain a certain level of financial comfort, many do not leave the neighborhoods they were born in, unfortunately. Due to stereotypes, cultural divides, and class warfare a standard has been put in place that defines socioeconomics, placing certain members of society at the top while others are meant to ruminate on the bottom. Unfortunately, minorities like the African American community are one of the minorities forced to the bottom of the socioeconomic food chain, often forced to live in poverty because of a system that does not deem them fit anywhere else.

Research Process

The research process was not difficult. Information on the poverty crisis among African Americans in the United States is abundant. While there were many sources to choose from, the most relevant were those offering information explaining the amount of African Americans on welfare, as well as the amount of African Americans still below the poverty lines despite employment. Other relevant sources included information concerning stereotypes, as well depression, both of which prevent the average black individual from overcoming poverty based on societal standards or their own mental welfare. Field research was also not difficult. A standard observation of an impoverished community allowed an understanding that most of the occupants were African American, unemployed, looking for work, but unable to find it based on stereotypes, lack of experience, lack of education, or other circumstances.

Research Findings

Throughout the research process, both academic exploration and field study was employed. Academic research yielded many facts concerning poverty among the African American community. For example, according to, “African Americans and Social Welfare,” over 35% of the African American community was cited as being on welfare by 2010, while nearly half of the employed African American community still fell below the average American poverty line . Moreover, DeMarc A. Hickson and associates revealed in their research that many African Americans were at risk of being impoverished, simply based on their biology. Simply stated, the stereotype surrounding being African American and impoverished is so engrained in the American people that it has become a societal norm; we now enforce it as a society, sometimes without realizing it. Furthermore, Darrel L. Hudson and associates showed that the socioeconomic status of many African American individuals was directly related to their mental state of health i.e. poor African Americans were 85% more likely to be depressed than poor white Americans, or moderately wealthy African Americans . Consequently, depression often kept these individuals from pursuing longterm economic growth.
Field research showed coincided with academic research. Impoverished areas under observation had a higher population of African Americans than Caucasions. An average of 25% to 45% were unemployed. Those who were unemployed were on welfare, or looking for work. Many who were looking for work were unable to find unemployment because they did not have adequate transportation, education, experience, or were too depressed as stated by the article. Many were also overheard suspecting they had been passed over for work because they were African American, which concurs with the academic research findings. While it may be true that the observation subjects overheard could have only been speculating on their job rejections, the primary point is they still attempted to obtain employment, and have been continuously vetoed. Academic research would confirm it is not mere speculation, but rather society’s attempt to continue keeping the African American community impoverished.


It is clear classwarfare is being waged upon the African American community. We cannot segregate groups of people into ghettos, and then refuse to hire them because they were born in ghettos From a young age they are stereotyped and conditioned into roles fit for the bottom rungs of society. Furthermore, as a society, more money is funneled into the criminal system, rather than arts and recreation. Jobs are not created, rather security is ensured. We do not give youths the option of rising above their appointed places in life; instead we tell them, “You are a poor criminal, live like one until we catch we.” Therefore, one solution could be to put more money into recreation and art in our communities. Solutions begin with children and not only would recreation and arts give children an outlet other than crime, but it would create jobs and infuse impoverished areas with diversity, culture, and revenue. Essentially, ghettos would no longer be ghettos. African Americans living in poor communities would have a chance to live in moderately established communities like most Americans, and the stereotyping could begin to end.
In sum, African Americans must stop being placed in this socioeconomic cycle. Society places them at the bottom, forcing them to stay there, and then uses it as a form of judgment. This is an outrageous hypocrisy. Many African Americans want to work, but are rejected from jobs, sometimes simply for being black. Stereotyping goes too far, barring African Americans from bettering their lives. Rather than use so much money to “protect” society from a group of people who mean no harm, we should be spending it to help level the socioeconomic playing field, allowing American to remain a land of true opportunity.


Hickson, D. A., Diez Roux, A. V., Gebreab, S. Y., Wyatt, S. B., Dubbert, P. M., Sarpong, D. M., . . . Taylor, H. A. (2011). Social Patterning of Cumulative Biological Risk by Education and Income Among African Americans. Public Health, 904-910.
Hudson, D. L., Neighbors, H. L., Geronimus, A. T., & Jackson, J. S. (2012). The relationship between socioeconomic position and depression among a US nationally representative sample of African Americans. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 373-381.
Mooney, C., & Smith, R. A. (2012). African Americans and Social Welfare. Columbia University.

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Report On Poverty Among The African American Community. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 04, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2022.

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