Negroes in the Economy

March 8, 1967

Report Outline
Importance of Negro's Economic Status
Gains and Lags in Advance of Negroes
Requirements for Additional Progress
Special Focus

Importance of Negro's Economic Status

Link With Solution of Major Social Problems

The drive of the American Negro for an equal place in the sun is focused increasingly on economic goals. To the Negro today, civil rights mean first of all the right to earn as much and to live as well as the white man. The evidence is unmistakable that, as a group, he has not accomplished that objective. But is he catching up? Or is he catching up fast enough? Here the evidence is mixed, the conclusion uncertain. In some ways the pace seems rapid, in other ways discouragingly slow.

The question of how fast the Negro is advancing has obvious bearing on the aspirations of individual Negro citizens, but it is also of broader concern. More and more it is recognized that the pace of Negro advancement will be a measure of the nation's, or more particularly the city's, success in getting the better of major ills of American society. Entrenched poverty, racial antagonism, crime, delinquency, dependency, street disorders, slum growth, school inadequacies, shortages of trained personnel, and sundry public health questions lead the list of problems that would be greatly eased if Negroes in this country could swiftly attain economic levels on a par with those of the remainder of the population. It is not enough that the Negro make progress; if the forward movement is too slow, the problems will deepen and become progressively more difficult to overcome.

Potential Benefits From Negro Advancement

The emphasis on economic goals in the Negro rights movement is understandable enough. To a disadvantaged minority, economic advancement goes hand in hand with a rise in status on all counts. More income for the Negro implies more education, higher levels of employment, more amenities in daily living, greater self-confidence and heightened respect from the community at large. The benefits are social and psychological as well as material.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Jul. 22, 2022  Black Hairstyles
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
Civil Rights: African Americans
Consumer Behavior
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination