More recently, a 1998 census report shows that twenty-six (26) percent of African-Americans in the United States live in poverty compared to eight (8) percent of whites. The 1998 Census Report also showed that 14.7 percent of African-Americans have four-year college degrees, compared with 25 percent of whites. The same year, African-American infant-mortality rates were more than twice as high as those among whites. Federal figures also show that a black person born in 1996 can expect to live, on average, 6.6 fewer years than a white person born the same year.African-Americans are more likely to go to jail, to be there longer and if their crime is eligible, to receive the death penalty. They lag behind whites according to every social yardstick: literacy, life expectancy, income and education. They are more likely to be murdered and less likely to have a father at home.
The economic deprivation resulting from slavery can be gleaned from discrepancies in earnings between whites and blacks. Black families earn only $580 for every $1,000 earned by white families. Only 3.4% of all black men earned $50,000 or more compared to 12.1% of white men. Additionally, 44.8% of black children live below the poverty line, compared to 15.9% of white children.
Documented discrepancies in net worth are a direct outgrowth of slavery and the lost inheritance from slave ancestors to their descendents. A comparison of income, net worth and net financial assets for black and white, middle-class families shows that, although blacks in the sample earned 70-85% of the income that whites earned, their net worth was only 16-18% of whites' net worth, and their net financial assets were zero. Another study showed that a typical white family enjoys a net worth that is more than eight times that of its black counterpart. This inequity is partly a result of the head start whites enjoy in accumulating and passing on assets. Some economists estimate that 80% of lifetime wealth accumulation results from gifts from earlier generations.
Alan Fuer, Harlem's Queen Mother, by Acclaim: Honorary Mayor Traded Convent for Life of Street Charity, NY TIMES, P.B1, (5/20/2003).
Jim Cox, Rail Networks Own Lines Bult with Slave Labor USA TODAY, Feb. 21, 2002.
James Cox, Brown Bros., Loans Gave Planters Cash To Buy Slaves. USA TODAY (02/21/02).
Brent Staples, Slaves in the Family: One Generation's Shame Is Another's Revelation., June 16, 2003 at OP.ED.
Id. at 21.
Id at 48.
This “Tobacco Combination” or trust formed by James Buchanan Duke was wholly owned by Continental Tobacco Company.
Id. at 101.
Jim Cox, USA TODAY, Feb. 21, 2002, citing Canadian National's ownership of seven rail lines built and/or operated by enslaved Africans including Mobile & Ohio which valued slaves lost to emancipation at $199,691 in 1865 (valued today at $2.2 million).
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