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A COMMON D E S T I N Y BLACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY Gerald David Jaynes and Robin M. Williams, Jr. Editors Committee on the Status of Black Americans Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1989
National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue, NVV · Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: This project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special compe- tences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The work that provided the basis for this volume was supported by grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional support came from the National Research Council Fund, a pool of private, discretionary, nonfederal funds that is used to support a program of Academy-initiated studies of national issues in which science and technology figure significantly. The NRC Fund consists of contributions from a consortium of private foundations including Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and from the Academy Industry Program, which seeks annual contributions from companies that are concerned with the health of U.S. science and technology and with public policy issues with technological content. .. Library of Congress Catalog~ng-~n-Publication Data A common destiny: Blacks and American society/Gerald D. Jaynes and Robin M. Williams, Jr., editors: Committee on the Status of Black Americans, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. p. cm. Papers and studies resulting from a four-year study conducted under the aegis of the Committee con the Status of Black Americans. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Afro-Americans-Social conditions-1975- 2. Afro-Americans- Economic conditions. 3. Afro-Americans-Politics end government. 4. United States-Race relations. I. Jaynes, Gerald David. II. Williams, Robin M. III. National Research Council. Committee of the Status of Black Americans. E185.86.C582 1989 305.8'96073-dc20 ISBN 0-309-03998-3 Art research by Richard Powell, Director of Programs, Washington Project for the Arts. 89-12253 CIP Cover: Romare Bearden, The Family (1948), watercolor and gouache on paper. Evans-Tibbs Collection, Washington, DC. Copyright C) 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences Printed in the United States of America ~ irst Printing, June 1989 Second Printing, September 1989 Third Printing, December 19 89
COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF BLACK AMERICANS ROBIN M. WILLIAMS, JR.(Chair), Department of Sociology, Cornell University HUBERT M. BLALOCK, JR., Department of Sociology, University of Washington LEE P. BROWN, Police Department, Houston, Texas JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN, Department of History, Duke University JAMES L. GIBBS, JR., Department of Anthropology, Stanford University BERNARD R GIFFORD, Apple Computer, Inc. NATHAN GLAZER, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University BEATRIX A. HAMBURG, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine CHARLES V. HAMPTON, Department of Political Science, Columbia University JOEL F. HANDLER, School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles ROBERT M. HAWSER, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin JAMES S. JACKSON, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan STANLEY LIEBERSON, Department of Sociology, Harvard University MICHAEL LIPSKY, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology GLENN C. LOWRY,* John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, Georgetown University Law Center THOMAS F. PETTIGREW, Psychologr Board of Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz JAMES TOBIN, Department of Economics, Yale University PHYLLIS A. WALLACE, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology NANCY l. WEISS, Department of History, Princeton University WILI,LAM JUI`lUS WILSON, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago RAYMOND E. WOLFINGER, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley GERALD DAVID THYMES, Study Director REYNOLDS FARLEY, Senior Research Consultant LAWRENCE BOBO, Senior Research Associate THOMAS CAVANAGH, Senior Research Associate JOHN BROWN CHARDS, Senior Research Associate DARNEEL HAWKINS, Senior Research Associate MARY BETH MOORE, Senior Research Associate CARETON HENRY, Research Associate THOMAS BARNEY, Research Assistant CHERYL L. DORSEY, Research Assistant DANIEL LETV7IN, Research Assistant MARION POTTER, Research Assistant GALE MOORE, Administrative Specialist DEIRDRE L. YOUNG, Secretary *Did not participate in committee activities after June 1987. ...
PANEL ON EDUCATION ROBERT M. HAWSER (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin HUBERT M. BLALOCK, JR., Department of Sociology, University of Washington BERNARD R GIFFORD, Apple Computer, Inc. NATHAN G~AzEa, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University JENNIFER HOCHSCH~D, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University LYLE V. JONES, L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JOHN U. OGBU, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley PANEL ON EMPLOYMENT, INCOME, AND OCCUPATIONS JAMES TOBIN (Chair), Department of Economics, Yale University SHELDON H. DANZIGER, Department of Economics and Population Studies Center, University of Michigan DAiriD T. ELLWOOD, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University TAMES I. HECKMAN, Department of Economics, Yale University NoRuAN Him, A. Philip Randolph Institute, New York, New York FRANK LEVY, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland GLENN C. LOWRY, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, Georgetown University Law Center PHYLLIS A. WAtrAcE, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago PANEL ON HEALTH AND DEMOGRAPHY BEATRix A. HAMBURG (Chair), Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine KAREN P. DAVIS, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University M. ALFRED HAYNES, Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School JAMES S. JACKSON, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan STANLEY LIEBERSON, Department of Sociology, Harvard University HARR~TTE PIPES McADoo, School of Social Work, Howard University DEtoREs L. PARRON, National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Departmen of Health and Human Services DOROTHY P. RICE, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco LEE NEIKENS ROBINS, School of Medicine, Washington University IV
PANEL ON POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE JOEL F. HANDLER (Chair), School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles LEE P. BROWN, Police Department, Houston, Texas CHARLES V. HAMILTON, Department of Political Science, Columbia University JAMES JENNINGS, College of Public and Community Services, University of Massachusetts, Cambridge MICHAEL LIPSKY, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology LESLIE BURL MCLEMORE, Department of Political Science and Dean. Graduate School, Jackson State University STEVEN J. ROSENSTONE,* Department of Political Science Univer.sirv of Michigan ~_ ~ ~ ~_ ~ ^^ ~ _^ vie ") ~4 t~m in. Scour, Rational Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Landover, Maryland RAYMOND E. WO1;FINGER, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley PANEL ON SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE AND CONTINUITY JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN (Chair), Department of History, Duke University JAMES LOWELL GIBBS, JR., Department of Anthropology, Stanford University THOMAS F. PErrIGREW, Psychology Board of Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz NANCY J. WEISS, Department of History, Princeton University ROBIN M. WILLIAMS, JR., Department of Sociology, Cornell University *Did not participate in panel activities after July 1986. v
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of S. clences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engi- neers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Coun- cil is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Vl
CONTENTS PREFACE / ix SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS / 1 Summary of Major Findings · A Record of the Status of Black Americans · The Future: Alternatives and Policy Implications Conclusion OVERVIEW: THEN AND NOW / 33 Change and Continuity in Black-White Status Since 1940 · Data, Findings, and Interpretations: Concepts and Methods · Note References BLACK PARTICIPATION IN AMERICAN SOCIETY / 55 The Baseline Period: 1935-1945 · Black Participation in Social Institutions Since 1945 · Residential Segregation · Black Participation in Social Life Since 1945 · Condusion · References RACIAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR / 113 The Empirical Record: 1940-1986 · Contemporary Black-White Relations · Explanations of Black and White Attitudes Toward Race · References IDENTITY AND INSTITUTIONS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY / 161 Social Structure · Institutions: Instruments of Change · Black Identity · References .. vll
A COMMON DESTINY: BLACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY 5 BLACK POLITICAL PARTICIPATION / 205 From Rights to Resources · Core Political Values · The Struggle for Civil Rights: Protest and Litigation · Democratic Status: Voting and Holding Office · Allocational Status: Influencing Public Policy · Summary · References 6 BLACKS IN THE ECONOMY /269 A Half Century of Uneven Change · Poverty · Income and Wealth · Blacks in the Labor Market · Employment and Equal Opportunity · Conclusions · References 7 THE SCHOOLING OF BLACK AMERICANS /329 Enrollment and Attainment · Achievement · School Factors in Attainment and Achievement · Extraschool Factors in Attainment and Achievement · Policy Context and Conclusions · References (3 BLACK AMERICANS' HEALTH / 391 Overview · Pregnancy and Infancy · Childhood · Adolescents and Young Adults · Adulthood · Older Adults · Provision of Health Care · Conclusions · References 9 CRIME AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE /451 Crime and Punishment · Criminal Offenders and Victims · The Criminal Justice Process · Black Criminal Justice Personnel Summary · References 0 CHILDREN AND FAMIElES / 509 Changing Family Patterns · Causes of Changing Family Patterns Conclusions · References APPENDICES A Notes on Methodology, Definitions, and Needed Data and Research / 559 B Biographical Sketches of Committee and Panel Members and Staff / 570 Committee Activities / 585 INDEX / 589 ... vlll
PREFACE This report documents the unfinished agenda of a nation still struggling to come to terms with the consequences of its history of relations between black and white Americans. In many ways this history has left a legacy of pain, and the report would be remiss if it did not acknowledge and emphasize that fact. In the pages that follow, we describe many improvements in the economic, political, and social position of black Americans. We also describe the continuance of conditions of poverty, segregation, discrimination, and social fragmentation of the most serious proportions. The study was initiated early in 1985 after more than 3 years of preliminary investigation, planning, and organization. That preliminary work included consideration of the status of other racial and ethnic minorities in America. After much discussion, it was decided to restrict the study to black Ameri- cans. The decision arose from limited resources and time and from recogni- tion of the great variations in the experience of different racial and ethnic groups in the United States. And the case of black Americans is unique-in its history of slavery and of extreme segregation, exclusion, and discrimina- tion. We recognize the potential value of comparative studies and hope that they will be carried out in the future. Each minority has its unique history, and the reasons for variations in current status vary widely. At this time, however, a crucial factor is the availability of data: information on blacks is far more extensive and of better quality than that for other major racial and ethnic minorities. Most important, however, the historical significance of blacks to the nation and the importance of black-white relations in U S. society today are surely more than adequate grounds for the focus of this study. The original charge to the Committee on the Status of Black Americans from the National Research Council and its Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) reads as follows: IX
A COMMON DESTINY: BLACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY . . . marshal! descriptive data on the changing position of blacks in Amen- can society since 1940; draw from the wealth of existing research to describe the cultural context, including an increasingly complex Eamework of laws, policies, and institutions within which the observed changes have occurred; and explore the consequences, anticipated and unanticipated, of public and private initiatives to ameliorate the position of blacks in Amenca. The historical dimension of this task has reinforced our awareness of the distinctive history of black Americans. Due in part to that special history, blacks are the most studied racial or ethnic population group in the nation. This report will undoubtedly be compared to earlier studies of American race relations, especially to two reports that, like it, were collaborative ef- forts: An American Dilemma (1944) and the J~portof the NationalAdviso~y Commission on Civil Disorders (1968~. [An earlier, rarely noted effort of this type was Charles S. Johnson, editor, The Negro in American Civilization (1930), which has not been given its just due as a treatise on black-white relations in the United States.] Readers of this report might profit from a brief reminder of the legacy of those well-known studies. In the midst of World War II, Gunnar Myrdal's monumental survey of race relations, An American Dilemma, predicted slow improvement in the educational, political, and social status of blacks; a worsening economic situation; rising self-confidence and assertiveness among blacks; and an im- pending breakdown among whites of formerly accepted beliefs and attitudes of white race dominance. An American Dilemma correctly anticipated increasing black solidarity and activism, increasing dissension over racial practices among whites, heightened conflict, and a national movement toward "equalitarian reforms." It cor- rectly saw that the impending domestic changes would be strongly affected by World War II and by the international status of the nation that claimed to represent democracy in a race-conscious world. The accuracy of many of these forecasts is documented in the present report. What Myrdal did not correctly forecast was the strong resistance to full equality for blacks that would remain after the old system of legalized segre- gation had been eliminated. In hindsight, An American Dilemma appears overly confident that change "in the hearts and minds" of men and women would eliminate racial separation and discrimination. A quarter century later, the urban uprisings of blacks during the 1960s prompted another major inquiry-this time through the appointment of a presidential commission. The Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, "the Kerner report" (1968), is a forthright and vivid report whose basic conclusion stressed a condition, also emphasized in An American Dilemma, of a nation continuing to move toward "two societies, one black, one white-separate and unequal" (p. 1~. The Kerner report emphasized how the legacy of past discrimination in the forms of segregation and poverty had created a black ghetto whose environment was destructive to many of its inhabitants-a ghetto "largely maintained by white institutions and con- doned by white society" (pp. 1-2~. After this diagnosis, the report called x
PREFACE for prompt national action and presented a set of recommendations aimed at reducing segregation and discrimination, safeguarding civil and political rights, and increasing educational and economic opportunities. Two decades after that landmark report, we now find that-despite impor- tant changes-there are striking resemblances between the description of 1968 and the position of black Americans reflected in our findings. To the extent that such continuity of black status exists, it derives from persisting basic conditions not yet removed by either private initiatives or the national actions that have been taken, much less by those repeatedly proposed but never fully undertaken. Contemporary views of the status of black-white relations in America vary widely. Perspectives range from optimism that the main problems have been solved, to the view that black progress is largely an illusion, to assessments that the nation is retrogressing and moving toward increased racial dispari- ties. To some observers, the present situation is only another episode in a long history of recurring cycles of apparent improvement that are followed by new forms of dominance in changed contexts: the level of black status changes, it is said, but the one constant is blacks' continuing subordinate social position. To other observers, the opposite conception is correct: long- run progress is the dominant trend. Listening to these discordant views, reasonable men and women may well wonder what, indeed, is the case. To this serious question the present report has sought to bring to bear a large compilation of facts and analyses. It would be unrealistic to expect all readers to agree with all the emphases and nuances of the report. We hope, how- ever, that it is clear that we have tried to search out and critically assess objective evidence wherever available. Our interpretations are those that have survived a lengthy and intensive process of criticism and refinement. To the extent possible, existing data and published and unpublished re- search were used, but we also developed new data and analyses. A great many studies over the years since World War II have dealt with specific aspects of the position of black people in the United States. But there remained a need for a synthesis of existing research that could serve as a point of departure for future analyses and for the informed development of policies by business, voluntary associations, and local, state, and federal governments. The availability of an unprecedented resource of data and research findings from diverse sources makes such a synthesis possible; con- troversies over the facts of the case as well as over cast and current policies . . ~ · . . . . make the study especially timely. This report concentrates on description and analysis of the position of black Americans-now some 30 million people-in our complex society. During the nearly 50 years covered in our survey, significant changes oc- curred in almost every aspect of the national society, from family life to international relations, from manufacturing technologies to styles of life, from employment patterns to civil rights. All Americans were affected, but as the body of the report makes clear, in many ways black people were uniquely involved. Xl
A COMMON DESTINY: BLACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY The large inventory of data and research analyses used by the committee and its panels and consultants made it feasible to complete a difficult assign- ment. At the same time, we found that many important questions simply could not be answered because crucial data were missing. Some of these serious gaps in the nation's resources of information are noted in Appendix A. Considerable uncertainty must attend any attempt to develop effective social policies unless vital statistical series are maintained and more adequate support provided for research on the economic and social changes that are now transforming the lives of the American people. While the study proceeded, the dynamic nature of black-white relations was being repeatedly demonstrated through changes occurring in American society. Thus, U.S. Representative William Gray became chair of the House Budget Committee in 1985, and, 4 years later, chair of the House Demo- cratic Caucus, a major leadership position; also in 1989, Ronald Brown became national chair of the Democratic Party, Bill White became president of professional baseball's National League, and Barbara C. Harris became the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church. Other significant events also occurred, and as participants suggested that we were compelled to comment on this or another event, it became clear that the report could not be completed and keep apace of American society. Consequently, we chose 1985-1986 as a rough terminal point for the report's analyses In some instances data or easily interpreted events that occurred after 1986 are re- ported, but they are relatively infrequent. The committee's 22 members were selected from most of the major disci- plines in the social and behavioral sciences. The committee was subdivided into five working panels, dealing, respectively, with economic status, educa- tion, health and demography, political participation and criminal justice, and social and cultural continuity and change. These panels also included 22 additional members having relevant special knowledge. Biographical sketches of committee, panel, and staff members appear in Appendix B. The work of the committee, its panels, and its staff was aided by still other scholars and research specialists who prepared more than 30 commissioned papers; a list of papers is in Appendix C, along with a list of committee and panel meetings. Altogether, nearly 100 people thus brought their professional skills to the task of analyzing the status of black Americans during nearly five eventful decades of American history. We also note with thanks all those people who communicated with us in person, by mail and telephone, and by published commentaries. We thereby received many useful suggestions, and the report gained from the criticisms freely offered at all stages of its development. The interdisciplinary character of the committee and its panels allowed our deliberations to draw on a wide range of knowledge and differing perspec- tives. The members also held strong convictions, of course, on many of the problems and issues that we considered. Consequently, our frequent meet- ings were marked by lively discussions, some surprising discoveries, and a lengthy process of debate and mutual education. By the end of 4 years of .. xll
PREFACE immersion in the subject matter, an impressive convergence of views had developed, greatly facilitated by repeated confrontations with the accumu- lated evidence. Individual differences of view among the participants remain, of course, especially concerning questions of social policy. Still, the level and quality of agreement reached are noteworthy, and we appreciate the pa- tience, objectivity, and vision of the participants in the study. The committee notes its very special debt to David A. Goslin, then exec- utive director of CBASSE, and Alexandra Wigdor, staff officer, whose indis- pensable initiatives conceived and developed the launching of the project within CBASSE. Crucial at many important points of the study were the advice and support of CBASSE executive director Robert Caplan, associate executive director Brett Hammond, and the two people who served as CBASSE chairs during the life of the study, Ira Hirsh and Robert McC. Adams. We acknowledge with deep appreciation the generous financial support that made possible the completion of this enterprise. Accordingly, our spe- cial thanks go to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Founda- tion, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foun- dation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Research Council Fund. The under- standing and patience of foundation staffs have been of special importance. Without the staff there would, of course, have been no report. The work of the senior staff, Lawrence Bobo, Thomas Cavanagh, John Brown Childs, Darnell Hawkins, and Mary Beth Moore, was crucial in preparing memo- randa and other background materials covering the variety of topics discussed in the report. Thomas Cavanagh also contributed to the project by serving as associate study director for several months during the last phase of the committee's work. Reynolds Parley, as senior research consultant, was a major contributor to essential background materiels and research analyses used in writing the report. Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports of CBASSE, played an instrumental intellectual role in aiding the editors during the writing of the final draft of the report. The background materials produced during the committee's work were rewritten, supplemented with additional material, and often reinterpreted by the committee, its chair, and its study director. The synthesis that forms the report is thus the sole responsibility of those individuals. We hope that the evidence and analysis presented is compelling. Our touchstone has been credible evidence; our mandate, to describe and ana- lyze. At the same time, the report necessarily deals directly with value-laden issues-discrimination, prejudice, equality of opportunity, inequality of con- dition. We have not avoided or minimized the deep contradictions and conflicts that surround these issues, and our diagnosis certainly leaves no ground for complacency. It is our hope that the report will provide a solid base for fruitful debate and reasonable policy initiatives in the years ahead. We believe that the present critical synthesis deals with matters of central importance for the future of our society. We believe that research data and ... x'''
A COMMON DESTINY: BLACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY thoughtful analysis can help to tell us where we have come from and where we may be going in terms of the welfare of Americans. The differences in the status of whites and blacks herein described do not overshadow the many crucial ways in which all our people are interdependent; we share a common destiny. The nation's future depends critically on the health, skill, and commitment of all of its people. Because of a unique past and distinctive present, the analysis of the special situation of black Americans is an essential part of any careful appraisal of American society. Gerald David Jaynes, Study Director Robin M. Williams, Jr., Chair Committee on the Status of Black Americans x~v
A COMMON DESTINY BlACKS AND AMERICAN SOCIETY