Poverty in the African American Community
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Poverty in the African American Community
Poverty is a frequently used and implicit idea. However, the definition of this idea is highly challenged. Perhaps, one of the greatest problems that every nation is facing today is poverty. The problems of poverty are tremendously spreading not only to those nations who lacks power but also to those nations who is powerful like the United States. Specifically this essay will view the factors that cause poverty among African Americans and the solution that might be helpful to reduce or even erased poverty. Furthermore the main aim of this essay is to know the best way to deal poverty encountered by the African American community.
In history, from 1450 -1750, the North American continent experienced enormous changes. The European explorers ventured to what they called then as the “New World” in search of vast amounts of natural wealth. Corollary to these exploratory activities, these European explorers also traveled to Africa and began a trans-Atlantic slave trade. Millions of Africans were brought to the Americas and traded there as slaves. This mass movement of people led to a new social and economic system; with the color of the skin as a determining factor whether one would live as a slave or as a free citizen.
By 1750, both the free and enslaved black people showed an intense attachment to America. After 1750, many African-Americans already found their freedom. In 1830, Philadelphia held the first meeting of the American Society of Free Persons of Color (later became the National Negro Convention). This organization for the black people was created to establish a black community and seek true freedom. Although the black communities in America or the so-called African Americans are now free, there are still problems in discrimination of black people resulting to poverty. The discrimination of jobs, education and health tend to be the factors of their agony.
It is in fact that poverty has affected many lives of individuals. Records show that many people are suffering because of the problem in poverty. But who is really the most affected in poverty. The effect of poverty is very obvious among children of this generation. In poverty, children suffer especially in terms of education. Because of poverty most of the parents cannot afford to give their children proper education. Ruth Sidel states that “until the children are educated for life they live a margin of society for life and in the long run will be losers.” Also, due to poverty, children do not enjoy life as they must enjoy it. Most of the children from poor families have to work earlier so that they can help their parents. Although health is itself an outcome, it can also be viewed as a pathway by which poverty influences other child outcomes, such as cognitive ability and school achievement. Poor children experience increased rates of low birth weight and elevated blood lead levels when compared with nonpoor children. These conditions have, in turn, been associated with reduced IQ and other measures of cognitive functioning in young children and, in the case of low birth weight, with increased rates of learning disabilities, grade retention, and school dropout in older children and youths.
Wherever and whenever a glimmering of the new view of poverty is found, there is found also increased interest in its causes. Poverty on a world scale has many historical causes: colonialism, slavery, war and conquest. There is an important difference between those causes and what is called factors that maintain conditions of poverty. It is well known that many nations of in the world, faced by devastating wars, such as World Wars I and II, were reduced to bare poverty, where people were reduced to living on handouts and charity, barely surviving.
Through the years they had brought themselves up in terms of real domestic income, to become thriving and influential modern nations of prosperous people. On the other hand, the factors of poverty (as a social problem) are ignorance, disease, apathy, dishonesty and dependency. These factors are to be seen simply as conditions. No moral judgment is intended. They are not good or bad, they just are. If it is the decision of a group of people, as in a society or in a community, to reduce and remove poverty, they will have to (without value judgment) observe and identify these factors, and take action to remove them as the way to eradicate poverty. These factors, in turn, contribute to secondary factors such as lack of markets, poor infrastructure, poor leadership, bad governance, under-employment, lack of skills, absenteeism, lack of capital, and others. Each of these are social problems, each of them are caused by one or more of the big five, and each of them contribute to the perpetuation of poverty, and their eradication is necessary for the removal of poverty.
Although, poverty is fast emerging and the causes continuously affect the poverty situation of African American community, there is still hope to conquer and stop this spread out. There two optimal solutions that can be imposed in order to get rid of poverty. First, the government of the United States of America should give priority on providing jobs among their sovereignty. The most that can be expected is that these services would put people in a proper starting position to take part in the economy. To actually achieve such participation requires jobs and possibilities for self-employment. One way to create jobs is a sustainable development program. Rebecca Blanks states that “residents can work their way out of poverty through the establishment of job training programs.” Since United States of America is one of the most powerful countries, public investment in social and economic infrastructure and in sustainable energy use would create large numbers of jobs for which relatively little schooling is needed. Furthermore, it is believed that what the impoverished in America really need is not money, but a way to make money for the nation itself. In line with this some recommendations are imposed. One is that welfare for poor people must be supplied only under the condition that the individual receiving the benefits be enrolled and involved in a state-funded job placement program that will aid the individual in finding a job or educate the individual in a trade skill that is in demand in that area and then help them find a job. Since the goal is to make the individual productive in order to earn their benefits, it would not be counter-productive to allow for those still unable to find a job through this process to continue to receive benefits while enrolled in volunteer programs for charities and other non-profit organizations.
In conclusion poverty must be given priority not only in the African American community but also in all over the world. This growth of poverty level is largely due to misunderstanding poverty. Measures controlling poverty should be linked to the suitability of the country, as reasons of poverty changes due to social conditions of the country. Many problems in social structure when accumulated, poverty is borne. That may be unemployment, over population, education, government performance. Poverty then needs to be controlled in two ways, that is, through job creation which requires proper training for individuals and education or literacy. And since the United States of America is a powerful nation, the best way to deal with poverty is to educate people. Because educated people could be a great asset for a nation and literate individuals might help the government to alleviate the growth of poverty in their nation.