ight years into the nation's first African-American presidency and amid an increasingly racialized election cycle, what can we say about the state of black America? According to a new report by the National Urban League, it’s mixed: African Americans have made strides but a clear opportunity gap persists.
According to the report, ‘Locked Out: Education, Justice & Jobs,’ black Americans are 72.2 percent equal to white Americans. This is based on the organization’s equality index, which measures how well black Americans and Hispanics are doing compared to whites in terms of economics, health, education, social justice, and civic engagement. The index stood at 72 percent last year, essentially staying flat as the nation slowly emerged from the Great Recession.
The National Urban League, a non-partisan civil rights organization, wants a commitment of $1 trillion over the next five years to aid minority and women-owned businesses — or as the league puts it, a Main Street Marshall Plan. The league also recommends a federal “living wage” of $15 per hour, indexed to inflation. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.