what’s changed?

Researchers from the Black Youth Project out of the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture revealed the responses of black youth from midwestern cities to a survey on how they view society and where they fit within it. I wonder how different their perceptions are to African American youth of 20…30…40 years ago.

The survey, which researchers call the Black Youth Project, details the responses of nearly 1,600 black, Latino and white participants, ages 15 to 25, from several Midwestern cities.

Their responses don’t always paint a rosy picture about minorities’ view of the country.

More than half of African-American and Latino respondents said they believe government officials care very little about them, while 44 percent of white youth said the same. Just over half of black youth also were the most likely to feel their education was, on average, poorer than that of white youth. About a third of whites agreed with that statement. And 61 percent of African-Americans who were surveyed said they feel held back by discrimination.

“It’s a red flag, prompting us to talk about what needs to happen in this country to bring about true equality for young people in general — and especially vulnerable young people,” Cohen said, referring not just to black young people, but to everyone from low-income youth to gay and lesbians.

While they see many social problems in the world, the survey indicated teens and young adults are optimistic about their chances of changing things for the better.

A large majority of youth in the survey believe, for instance, that they can make a difference by participating in politics — with 79 percent black and white youth and 77 percent of Latino youth saying they feel that way.


79% feel that participating in politics will make a difference in their lives. I’m surprised by that. It makes me question what “participating in politics” meant to the respondents and whether that meant that those 79% would prioritize “participating in politics” to change their realities over other means. But, perhaps Puffy’s Vote or Die campaign really did have an affect.


~ by Anayah on February 2, 2007.

2 Responses to “what’s changed?”

  1. I think that this is some expected and unexpected news. I’m almost glad that black students realize that they are not treated equally. It would be worse if they didn’t realize it or thought that they deserved the treatment. I am glad that the understand the importance of getting involved in politics. I hope that more of them understand the importance of education too though.

  2. bronze trinity, i have the same hope…but even more so that they see reasons to have an education that seem applicable to them.

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