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Black kids have to jump hurdles straight out of the womb to make in in the US. A recent study found that the disparities in opportunity for Black children start as early as the delivery room, with gaps only getting wider as kids grow older. As Huffington Post reports:

From birth, the average black child in America is at a relative disadvantage, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study released Tuesday.

While more than 92 percent of white, Latino, American-Indian and Asian and Pacific Islander babies are born at normal birth weight, that number for African-Americans only reaches into the high-80s. The pattern of disadvantage for black children continues into elementary school and through high school in the form of standardized testing scores and high school graduation rates. Only 66 percent of African-Americans graduate from high school on time, while more than 90 percent of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders do.

As America becomes increasingly diverse, the Casey Foundation report looked at how five racial groups fare against a dozen milestones in stages of life from birth to adulthood, including the number of eighth-graders with math proficiency and the number of young adults who are in school or working. The report, titled the Race for Results, finds that while no group perfectly meets every milestone, Asian-Americans fare the best and African-Americans do the worst.

Wow, so they’re saying the minute we enter the world we’re at a disadvantage? This is crazy. The study goes on to find that African Americans fare about as poorly as one of the country’s smallest and most challenged ethnic populations: Native Americans. Does anyone else notice a running theme here given both ethnic groups’ sordid histories in this nation?

The report measures each group’s success toward the milestones on a 1,000 point-scale. Asian-Americans and whites scored best, with 776 and 704 respectively. American-Indians and African-Americans, on the other hand, scored in the 300s. Gaps between groups’ achievements start small in early childhood milestones, like percentages of babies born at normal birth weight, and children enrolled in pre-K, but the differences widen in neighborhood milestones, like percentages of children living in low-poverty areas.

The report uses data from the latest census that shows differences between states. American Indians in Texas and California, for example, appear to be faring significantly better than American Indians in Montana and North Dakota, according to the report. African-Americans face the greatest barriers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Mississippi, the report says.

The report comes after a recent government study found that students of color are routinely discriminated against in school, with harsher discipline and less access to the best teachers than their white peers.

The Casey Foundation suggests further study to pinpoint what’s causing the racial disparities and programs to eliminate them.

People are quick to say Black people are “whining” and “playing the victim” when we bring up the blatant odds against us in this nation…but facts are facts. At least this organization is looking into the roots of the issue and what can be done to change it. What do you think of the study’s findings, Bossip fam?


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