To start, African Americans have never had a fair chance for success in the United States. From colonial chattel slavery to the era of Jim Crowe to the contemporary use of mass incarceration, there are always regulations in place to keep the black population from prospering. These institutional problems that black youth face today encompass police brutality and litigation, our discriminatory capitalist economy and educational system. All these barriers intersect to form an overall mountain of misfortune.
First off, the mass incarceration of black males has had numerous lasting effects. Police brutality has been a very prominent and unattended issue. It leaves black communities in constant danger and results in physical as well as social deaths. In regard to family life, many children have been left fatherless and in turn do not have the financial or emotional support they need to pursue an education. It is often hard to think of getting a degree when you are more worried about when you are going to eat next. This sparks internal battles and lasting stress which ultimately inhibits future success.
In addition, these communities also have an overall state of fear and mistrust in the police force and the political system as a whole. Professor Smalls described these as the “prison’s social tentacles” in lecture because they ultimately follow someone for life. Any criminal charges can bar employment, the right to vote, housing opportunities and even creates an air of mistrust from tho...
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...tial segregation formed the inner cities we have today. They are in no way equivalent to the ethnic neighborhoods of New York nor are they the result of natural gravitation. White America refuses to help and wonders why the situation continues to worsen and dive into physical retaliation. There are no true avenues of assistance for education, employment or even mechanisms to reduce racial prejudices. Although we may have rebranded our system, it still has the same insidious effects that chattel slavery and the Jim Crow era had. Without properly addressing this issue there will be no hope in uniting the United States of America. In conclusion, African Americans incur cultural obstacles as a result of the institutional blockades. Each issue intersects with one and other to create the injustices we have today and the hardships that exist for African Americans to succeed.
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