Black staff nationwide are chronically underrepresented in high-salary jobs in expertise, enterprise and engineering, amongst different fields, an Related Press evaluation of presidency knowledge exhibits.
As a substitute, many black staff discover jobs in low-wage, much less prestigious fields the place they’re overrepresented, comparable to meals service or preparation, constructing upkeep and workplace work, the AP evaluation discovered.
The disparities persist 50 years after the demise of civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for – amongst different issues – equal employment alternatives.
In King’s hometown of Atlanta, the scenario seems higher for African-American professionals. The proportional illustration of black-to-white staff is even in lots of fields, the AP’s evaluation exhibits.
The success of African-American professionals in Atlanta may be attributed to a succession of black mayors and a cluster of well-regarded, traditionally black universities, consultants say.
Atlanta’s first black mayor Maynard Jackson pressed for insurance policies aimed toward serving to African-American professionals following his election in 1973.
In 1996, “the Olympics opened the door for a second wave of the entrepreneurial spirit that Maynard Jackson launched within the 1970s,” mentioned Kendra A. King Momon, a professor of politics at Atlanta’s Oglethorpe College.
The town is dwelling to traditionally black schools and universities comparable to Morehouse and Spelman schools, offering “a wealthy set of mental capital that in lots of cases chooses to remain within the Atlanta area,” mentioned Douglas Cooper, director of profession providers and particular packages within the Morehouse division of enterprise administration and economics.
Although Atlanta has been often known as “the black Mecca,” the statistics generally overshadow the plight of its poor black residents, some consultants say.
“The fruits of this success weren’t, and have by no means been, shared equitably,” historian Maurice J. Hobson writes in his 2017 e book “The Legend of the Black Mecca.”
“As a lot as Atlanta had modified, the identical poor blacks who had taken to the streets within the city uprisings of the 1960s had benefited little throughout the many years that adopted,” wrote Hobson, assistant professor of African-American research at Georgia State College.
“A divide between the black elite and the black poor had all the time riven Atlanta’s social cloth,” he wrote. “Even after the town authorities shifted from white to black arms, its leaders pursued insurance policies that benefited white and black elites to the exclusion of the overwhelming majority of the black residents who had introduced them to energy.”