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Black boys already start with a disadvantage solely based on their race, but when you factor in the competition they face in the workplace against white men, the reality of them reaching their true and deserved potential is disheartening to say the least.

As reported by The Root, new research has recently uncovered a sobering and unfortunately unsurprising reality for young black boys, as it was discovered that they will never earn more than white men. Even when they are born into the same familial and economic resources and have the same educational background, a new study shows that black boys will never out earn their white male counterparts in their lifetime.

Via The Root:

The New York Times reports that a new study by Harvard and Stanford economists disproves those arguments. Research from the Equality of Opportunity Project (pdf) shows that black boys raised in good neighborhoods by wealthy, two-parent families still don’t have the economic potential of low-income white boys. For black boys in America, upward mobility has nothing to do with education, class or work ethic. They will likely earn less money than white kids who grew up in worse neighborhoods. They will probably earn less than white boys from poorer families. They will be locked out from every access point to the American dream, and the data proves it.

Professor Ibram Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, told the Times, “One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea.” Kendi added, “But for whatever reason, we’re unwilling to stare racism in the face.” The results of the study highlight the fact that America cannot address economic inequality and the wage gap without discussing race. While it is impossible to quantify success, income disparity is key in understanding the disparities embedded in American society.

While black America has pointed out these disparities for a long time, this study shows that even when black children begin at the same starting point as their white counterparts, they don’t have equal access to the rungs on the ladder leading to the American dream. As this research proves, addressing segregation, community resources and the education system is necessary. But there is only one thing that explains the fact that every factor of our social structure is tilted against black children: white supremacy.

If you’re wondering about how black women faired in this study, the findings were slightly more optimistic. The study notes that “black women attend college at higher rates than white men and earn slightly more than white women when parental income is factored in and details the findings that the wage gap is much starker for black men.” However, the overall prospect for black women is still just as dire as that of black men due to the persistent racial disparity in individual income.


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