A College Diploma Does Not Erase All the Problems Faced by Black Men

Readers of JBHE are well aware of the large and growing higher education gap between black men and black women in this country. For example, black women now earn about 70 percent of all master’s degrees earned by African Americans.

A new poll conducted by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University finds that even for those men who are college graduates, serious problems remain. Thirty percent of all black men with a college degree and an income of more than $75,000 say that they have been physically threatened or attacked because of their race. Nearly two thirds of educated black men with high incomes say they have been unfairly stopped by police. Sixty percent of these college-educated black men say they had a close friend or relative who was murdered, and 60 percent said a close friend or family member served time in prison.

According to the survey, 60 percent of all adult black men say that their collective problems are due more to their own shortcomings than from anything that “white people have done to blacks.” Despite the problems facing black men, more than three quarters of African-American males say they are satisfied with their lives and 60 percent report that it is a “good time” to be a black man in America.