Cover: Blacks and Whites: Narrowing the Gap?, from Harvard University PressCover: Blacks and Whites in E-DITION

Blacks and Whites

Narrowing the Gap?

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674189225

Publication Date: 01/01/1984

235 pages


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In Blacks and Whites, Reynolds Farley tackles the controversial question of what American blacks have gained from the civil rights struggle. Are blacks catching up to whites economically and socially, or are they falling farther behind?

Farley applies techniques of demographic measurement to data from Census Bureau surveys. These tools enable him to break down the general question into more specific ones: How much do blacks gain in income from finishing high school or getting a college degree? Have blacks moved significantly into occupations once restricted to whites? Are fewer black families in poverty now than in 1960? Farley also presents a measure that indicates how earnings would compare if blacks had the same job qualifications as whites and lived in the same regions of the country.

The conclusions from these analyses are mixed. On many measures blacks have made undeniable progress toward equality with whites. Other indicators show little or no gain. And there are some disturbing trends, such as the increasing proportion of impoverished black families headed by single women. Farley cautions that, in spite of an overall picture of progress, it is too early to assume that blacks will soon catch up with whites. He emphasizes that an active policy aimed at correcting racial inequality must continue.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”