Thursday, March 07, 2019

Where Have All the Black Men Gone?

I'd say we need the Black men now more than ever. We need them to be productive and we need them as part of our families. Via Governing
The single biggest driver behind the absence of many black men is mass incarceration. A few academics have held up ratios of black men to women as a proxy for incarceration. Despite recent declines in prison populations, disparities remain massive. African-American males are imprisoned in state and federal facilities at six times the rate of white men, and about 25 times that of black women, according to figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Black men, underrepresented in the overwhelming majority of neighborhoods, are instead heavily concentrated in relatively few places, and those tend to be home to prisons. We identified 79 such Census tracts with more than twice as many black men as women.

Black men are further subject to high mortality. Homicides drive up rates, along with higher risks of dying from diabetes, kidney disease and sepsis than other men. In all, the latest average life expectancy at birth for black men, 71.5 years as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trails the expectancy for white men by nearly five years and for black women by more than six years.

But mortality and incarceration rates alone don’t explain why so many black men seem to be missing in communities. Alford Young, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan, notes that they frequently lack permanent addresses. Women, particularly those with children, are likely to obtain support services, and thus to get counted, while black men are not and may become homeless. Young also says a subset prefers to be mobile and undocumented, mostly stemming from fears of law enforcement. “It’s really a challenge with official counts to make sense of where black men are,” he says.

The ramifications of all this are far-reaching. Partners and families of the “missing men” face a host of negative social and economic consequences, such as a shortage of income and assets. Huge numbers of women have ties to incarcerated family members: One in every 2.5 black women has a family member in prison, more than three times the number for white women, according to a Scholars Strategy Network report. For children, research suggests growing up with an incarcerated parent increases the likelihood of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and other challenges.

But the consequences of all this extend beyond families. The absence of adult males means fewer constructive relationships for local children and fewer resources for communities in general. “It’s not simply large numbers of men not being present around their children or their partners,” Young says, “but what it means in a community context to be invisible.”
Another subject I'd like to tackle more are subjects that are important to Black men.

BTW, it brings to mind a piece in 2017 where Black men were considered the "white people of Black people". If Black men are missing in our communities is there really "Black male privilege"?

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