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Half of Black Children in U.S. Poor, Study Says

From Associated Press

Nearly half of the nation’s black children live in poverty and the youngest are the worst off, a black research organization said Monday.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies said black children under 3 tend to live in families headed by women in their 20s who have never married and have few marriage or job prospects.

“If current trends hold, these children will be increasingly hard-pressed to overcome the burdens imposed by poverty,” the center said. “Growing numbers of them will not succeed.”

Cynthia Rexroat, a Clemson University sociologist who is the author of the study, said children younger than 3 in families headed by never-married women had the highest poverty rate of all, 87% in 1984, contrasted with 76% in 1979.

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Belinda Tucker, acting director of the Center for Afro-American Studies at UCLA, said increased homicide and crime among young black men adds to the problem.

James Stewart, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, said ineffective schooling also is a contributing factor.


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