The African American Underclass Is The Most Disadvantaged Population Of African Americans

The African American Underclass Is The Most Disadvantaged Population Of African Americans

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In the United States of America, the general path to becoming a successful adult begins at an early stage in life and continues, typically, until the age of 18 when one is able to positively contribute to society. During this period, we are constantly molding our future through the cultural influences of the environment surrounding us, obtaining an education provided through grade school, and expanding upon our socialization skills. Therefore, a productive culture, adequate education, and the ability to adapt socially are all vital building blocks needed to finish our path to success. Raised in a community that harbors an isolative culture unconducive to success, those born in “The Hood”, a community of low income and impoverished African-Americans created by isolation due to race, lack the resources, social ability, and support required to become contributing members of society.
Through my research I will show that “the African American underclass is the most disadvantaged population of the African American urban community” (as cited by Smith). The “high rates of poverty, joblessness, violence, alienation… and hopelessness” (Richardson) are all characteristics of the culture of this community which greatly reduces the ability of its members to become successful contributing members of society.
Through no direct fault of their own, current residents of “the hood” live in an area that has over time become a physiological prison where they are bound by the culture cultivated there. “The neighborhood culture places pressure on all residence to conform” (as cited by Richardson) while simultaneously isolating its members by disassociating their behaviors from that of the norm. The hood, once intended as a community to support racia...


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...iterate, the racism, lack of employment, and concentration of African-Americans that began with their migration northward has birthed a culture unconducive to the success of its members. Years of isolation due to their race, a subculture has developed that promotes violence, the selling of drugs, and public assistance as a source of income. Because it is vital for the inhabitants of this community to conform to its culture, little time is spent expanding upon their ability to socialize effectively enough to grow. Because of this social incompetence, awareness and access to the vital building blocks that make one successful are not easily obtain and require much effort. Therefore, the path of an African-American from “The Hood” to success is one less paved as the obstacles to reach success, as a contributing member of society, tends to outweigh the ease of conforming.

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