II. Research Methods

To begin this serious sociological examination of the perceived costs of racial discrimination, we conducted five exploratory focus groups with economically successful African Americans, two in the Midwest and three in the Southeast. We secured thirty-seven participants, sixteen in the Midwest and twenty-one in the Southeast. Of those who reported their age, the majority (seventeen) were between thirty-one and forty years of age, with five between twenty-one and thirty and twelve between forty-one and sixty. Among those reporting their education, most (nineteen) had pursued graduate work beyond a four year college degree, while thirteen others had completed some college work or earned a college degree. Only one reported not having gone to college. Among those who reported family income, the majority (twenty-five) had an income that was $31,000 a year or more, with fourteen reporting income above $50,000. Eight listed a family income at $30,000 a year or less. The respondents reported a variety of occupations, mostly in professional or managerial positions. Twenty-seven were female, and ten were male. In the analysis, we quote from about eighty percent of the focus group participants.