ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Social Issues

Will the Majority of Lower Income Blacks Ever Achieve Middle Class Status

Updated on August 31, 2014
gmwilliams profile image

Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.

Source

The Remote Probability of the Majority of Lower Class Blacks Ever Achieving Middle Class Status

There are many books, forums, and discussion forums addressing the underclass and/or lower income Black. As a Black Sociology major, I am vastly interested in this topic. Opinions on this subject vary from instituting social and educational programs which economically assist lower income Blacks to live better and teaching lower income Blacks to obtain marketable educational skills in order to afford them jobs providing a middle class living to instituting mandatory workfare programs advocating that lower income Blacks use their own initiative to improve their current economic situation.

In the 1960s, there were institutional programs such as the War on Poverty and Manpower whose main purpose was to help lower income Blacks obtain middle class status. Community activists, educators, and social scientists further addressed the poor level of education in the inner city public schools. This resulted in some amends to the inner city public school systems in which teachers made the curriculum in inner city public schools "cultural relevant" and stressed the importance of reading and other marketable skills.

As a result of the institutionalization of social programs geared to the improvement of inner city communities, many lower income Blacks become middle class and a few become upper middle class and better. Also during the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was open enrollment in many colleges and universities which gave lower income Blacks access to college-level educations. This further increased the number of lower income Black people becoming middle and upper middle class.

However despite the inroads made by some lower income Blacks into the middle and upper middle class levels, why are many Blacks still at the lower income level? Let us look at the lower income Black socioecomonic environment. Many lower income Black children grow up in environments where parental involvement is either absent or minimal. Many lower income Black children come from large families where the oldest and/or older children is the substitute parent for their younger siblings.

Furthermore, plenty lower income Black socioecomonic environments have little or no intellectual stimulation. Often books are nonexistent in these homes. Many lower income Black parents do not place a high value on educational and intellectual achievement. They believe that education is not for them. Many of them believe that education is not necessary for the type of lives they lead.

Many lower income Black parents often do not see beyond their economic circumstances. Dr. Ben Carson, the noted Black neurosurgeon, who grew up in poverty and overcome those obstacles, remarked that intellectual achievement was not prized in the neighborhood he grew up in. Dr. Carson further stated that his mother was often criticized by other neighborhood mothers for stressing education for her sons.

Dr. McWhortley, noted Black professor of linguistics, stated that there is a culture of anti-intellectualism in the lower income Black community. Sociologists state that in the lower income Black community, street smarts is prized over academic education and intellectualism. In the lower income Black community, drug pushers, high level criminals, and pimps are seen as role models because they represent the upper class and are viewed as "successful" role models in a community where the majority of people eke out a living.

However, there a few lower income Black parents who exhort their children to obtain an education and achieve conventional economic success and their children respond why obtain an education when a pimp, hustler, and drug pusher can be a millionaire without an education. This is why lower income Black children, especially boys, are attracted to the hip hop/gangster lifestyle. Many hip hop "artists" come from the lower income Black community and this is reflected in their lyrics.

The average lower income Black parent is hostile to the school system. They believe that education is not for them and their children. Many times the schools are poor in the lower income Black community because parents are passive regarding being involved in improving their school environment for their children. Many times at PTA meetings in the inner city public schools, the parents are not involved, believing that the teachers are solely responsible for teaching their children. They do not believe that they should teach their children, help them with their homework, nor take them on cultural activities. The only "cultural" activities that are indulged in the lower income Black home is " watching television" and/or "playing in the streets."

Many lower income Black children equate being intellectual and educated to being bourgeoise and white. If a lower income Black child is intellectual, she/he is often derided and bullied by their classmates and sometimes their immediate families. There is a book about Black achievers written by Dr. Ben Carson which stated that a lower income Black boy was beaten by his father because he loved to read The father could not read and did not believe in reading and hated his son for loving to read. However, the child did not let this deter him so he went to the library to read.

Many lower income Blacks view racism is the main deterrent as to the reason they are not middle class and/or better. Many lower income Blacks do not obtain middle class or better income status because of their socioeconomic conditioning. Many lower income Blacks are extremely fatalistics, believing that the events of life are stacked against them. Furthermore, many lower income Blacks have more childlren than they can properly support and educate. Some lower income Blacks marry far too young and have children before they complete their education.

Many lower income Black girls indulge in sexual behavior too early and have unprotected sex. Plenty of lower income Black girls do not believe in using birth control and have children for the sake of having children. As a result of this behavior, many lower income Black girls become bitter regarding life's missed opportunities and are regelated to working at dead end jobs. This is their own doing as preventive programs have been instituted in the inner cities since the 1960s to instruct lower income teenagers and women how to prevent pregnancies and/or to have small families.

In order for lower income Blacks to become middle class and/or better, they must do the following things: (1) become more proactive regarding their children's education and intellectual achievement which means getting involved in your children's education and look for ways to improve your child's public school in order for your children to graduate with a solid educational foundation and marketable job skillsf, (2) set an example yourself by attending night school and other educational institutions to obtain a marketable skill in order to get a better job, (3) do not marry too young-obtain a marketable education and job first, (4) practice family planning-remember, small families live better which means that children from small families receive more economic, educaitonal and cultural attainments than children in large families do, and (5) realize that you own your destiny and you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. With the opportunities which abound in America, there is no excuse for people not to achieve middle income status if they truly desire to do so.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Starmom41 5 years ago

      Well, I wouldn't limit it to blacks, I'd say -all- races in this group have the same problem when they prefer to 'stick to their own kind,' & want their kids to follow in their footsteps.

      Example: I know an "octomom" (8 kids)- one kid's in jail for drug dealing, she has a teenager who already has a couple of kids of her own living with her, etc. etc. Nobody tells these kids "get an education so you can have a better life."

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Many people JUST DON'T CARE! They believe that their children can do the best they can, no more, no less. They also believe that they do not have to sacrifice for their children. They further contend that if THEY do not have, WHY SHOULD THEIR CHILDREN HAVE, adding that their children ARE NO BETTER THAN THEY ARE!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      GMWilliams, you are so right and have written another interesting and thought-provoking hub. How is it that so many people pass this nonsense on to their children? What happened to wanting better for one's own children?

    • gmwilliams profile image
      Author

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Express10, what you have said is so true. Many lower income Black people have quite a fatalistic and passive outlook on life. They maintain that education and the conventional avenues are not for them and that the only way to become wealthy is through illegal means. Many lower income Blacks either have passtive, cynically fatalistic attitude towards life or they have the poverty consciousness embedded in them. Thank you for stopping by, Express10!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I will never understand it, but it truly seems that some people like this are okay with being less smart, less financially secure, and okay to isolate or sideline themselves in America. When anyone's dream is to become a criminal or thug they don't have enough hope, education, and knowledge of what's truly out there for them. The real problem is that millions of people REFUSE to even try to see what COULD be. But, there is no legislating an open mind, hope, or even education.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 7 years ago from New York, NY

    • Paulette305 profile image

      Paulette305 7 years ago

      Hello GM Williams! I hope you're having great weather in NYC! I lived on CPW and 96th until a few years ago.

      Great hub! I use to think that lower income folks could not make the transition to middle class but I have changed my mind.

      After WWII thousands and thousands of Americans were able to make the leap because of programs put in place to lift them up.

      I just posted a hub about Income Inequality and realize that if they was less of an income gap and Americans started to see their salaries increase by let's say 3% - which was the norm between 1945 and 1975) indeed lower class folks could move up.

      If you have an interest the hub is at https://hubpages.com/money/Income-Inequality-In-Am...

      Cheers!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)