NYC Gets Bad Grades on African-American Progress

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    People walk past an empty building that used to house Mart 125, right, in Harlem, New York, Monday, May 24, 2010.

    A annual "report card" on the state of African-Americans here in New York City has just come out -- but before we reveal them, we asked a few people in Harlem to grade the city overall for blacks.

    "B," said one businessman in Harlem.

    "I would give it a B-minus," shouted a New York pedestrian.

    "Probably a C," said one businesswoman.

    The Black Equity Alliance and New York Urban League, however, were not so generous.

    After a year of research and evaluation, the groups gave the city a "D" in the area of employment, a "D" in  healthcare, a "D" in child well-being, a "C-"  criminal justice and a "D" education.

    "We want this to got to elected officials, policy makers, commissioner on the city and state levels," said Darwin Davis, president of the alliance.

    "The purpose is to bring strength to collaboration," said Davis. "There's no one issue facing the black community that stands alone by itself."

    In the report, it focuses on the impact of the economic downturn on the black community - finding that blacks on all income levels list lack of jobs as their top problem.

    "I have a lot of colleagues and friends who aren't black and were able to come out and pursue the things they were passionate about," said Rasul Miller, a graduate of Duke University. "Where as I, myself, and black colleagues weren't able to do that."

    The report points out that cases of asthma, obesity, diabetes and HIV continue to be on the rise. And foster care among black children is higher than ever. Meanwhile many areas of crime have worsened.

    As for the arts, "It helps us refocus how much the arts are needed in the community," said Jannette Hawkins with the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem.

    Davis says the groups are not using the report to slam the city but more so as a wake up call to those in power as well as the African-American community.

    One of the panelist said this morning, "When America catches a cold, black America catches pneumonia."

    Davis says there is still more work to be done.

    For the full report click here