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NewsFlash: November 14, 2006

Don’t blame black culture for economic trends

Some prominent social critics like Bill Cosby and Juan Williams have squarely put the lack of economic progress of some African Americans on the doorstep of black culture. But a Baltimore Sun  op-ed (which also ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Salt Lake Tribune) shows that such critics are misguided because they overlook both the progress made by African Americans in recent years and the entrenched, non-cultural forces that continue to impede that progress.

Thora Institute director Algernon Austin and EPI senior economist Jared Bernstein wrote the commentary, which provides hard economic data that contradict the critiques that black culture is the main contributor to problems such as poverty, crime and incarceration. The authors show the progress made by African-American workers in recent years and the labor market forces that are hurting minority workers – trends the critics are ignoring.

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