Print Сite this

African American Families in Poverty


Even though the United States declares the equality of white and black people quite often, the socio-economic situation of African Americans still needs some significant changes for the better. Moreover, measures to “eliminate discrimination” are often only informational or propagandist. For instance, many black people live in extreme poverty, but the US government lacks measures to help them somehow. Nevertheless, this is a critical problem that has to be resolved as soon as possible. The purpose of this paper is to consider the economic problems of modern African-American families and propose ways to solve them.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Literature Review

It is necessary to state that there are many differences even between African-American families. According to Boyd-Franklin (2016), “the great diversity of values, characteristics, and lifestyles that arises from such elements as geographical origins, level of acculturation, socioeconomic status, education, religious background, and age must be considered in any discussion of Black families in order to avoid stereotyping” (p. 5). Indeed, some of them strive for development and full life, while some others are satisfied with the current conditions. However, the paper focuses on issues that are widespread among African American families. Undoubtedly, not each of these families needs support, but the general situation is tough.

One of the most notable signs of the actual social status of black people in the US is economic inequality. Even in the 21st century, many African Americans are far poorer than people representing different races in the US. The reason for this is the conservation of poverty in African American communities. Many black people actually became successful in the United States: there are famous black politics, businessmen, musicians, and other popular people. However, most African-Americans do not have such achievements and remain poor. Moreover, the poverty of the African American population keeps increasing continuously (Chukwu, 2016). The development of poverty, in particular, is caused by the American economy’s development features. Researchers state that the market’s demand for unskilled labor decreases (Ehrenberg & Smith, 2016). It causes another problem: more African Americans without proper education always stay unemployed.

The social inequality between African-Americans and white people is mostly caused by the discriminatory policies carried out at the beginning of the 20th century. Undoubtedly, this negatively affects the bad relations between people of different races even after the past decades. Until our time, most white and black Americans still represent completely different social groups and are separated from each other. African Americans have their identity, and in some aspects, it does not have anything in common with the identity of the general American. Moreover, sometimes it even contradicts it in issues related to culture, religion, and others.

One manifestation of this is the massive spread of Islam among black Americans. To some extent, the adoption of Islam was seen by many African Americans as a way to emphasize their “otherness.” They sought to emphasize that they do not belong to the European culture related to Christianity, but to the Afro-Arab culture (El Malik, 2016). However, most African Americans are still Christians, even though some of them are involved in purely African-American communities. They usually are not connected with the church communities of white people. The purpose of religion is to unite people and direct their thoughts and actions in one way. Unfortunately, in this situation, racial prejudice is stronger than spirituality.

Social and economic inequality is related to the social deprivation of the black US population. The percentage of the highest proportion of the black community is located in the southern states, once the centers of plantation slavery. Still, largely African American populations remain in some southern states. However, a vast number of African Americans live in the biggest cities of the country, especially in New York. In places of living of African-Americans, a living standard is usually much worse than in areas of residence of white Americans (Chukwu, 2016). People often consider the quarters inhabited by black people as social ghettos in which poverty, street crime, drugs, and alcoholism are presented. Often, this is not the case, but living conditions can really make people go to illegal actions.

Social inequality in the black population of the US is also evident in the health sector. Since most African Americans belong to lower social classes, they do not have money to care for their health. Plus, the lifestyle of many African Americans is by no means conducive to improving medical performance. The average life expectancy of African American people is 5–7 years lower than the average life expectancy of white citizens of American (Novak, 2018). Unfortunately, good and timely medical services for the majority of African Americans are unavailable due to their high cost. Moreover, in the African American ghetto, a culture of caring for one’s health has not been created. Although African-American families have a relatively high rate of birth, the family values ​​crisis in “black” America is manifested much more clearly: a considerable number of children are born out of wedlock.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

Possible Solutions

There are many possible implications for the research and for the social work with black families. The issue must be approached comprehensively, solving problems both at the state level and within individual families. This will help correct the current situation and influence favorable changes in the future. First of all, these measures must be applied at the legislative level. The rights of African Americans must be equated with the rights of white people, and discrimination must be eliminated entirely. Amendments to the health system should also be considered. Black people should be able to receive timely medical care because otherwise, they will not be able to live fully. If the government cannot provide these services, there could be solutions related to charity and private doctors. It is also necessary to actively work on the education of black children and even adults. Many of them do not have access to quality education, and for this reason, they do not have the opportunity to master even basic skills and knowledge (Lomotey et al., 2016). This prevents them from becoming full members of society, using their potential.

There are many practices that are aimed at close communication with individual families that can help to achieve this goal. First of all, various public organizations act as assistants in this situation. Many of them collect donations that provide low-income African-American families with essential food and other products. Such intervention in families is usually beneficial for their condition. They do not spend too much energy on low-paying jobs, so they can, for instance, pay more attention to raising their children.

To work with these families, it is necessary to distribute social roles among the participants in the events. It requires people responsible for the development of educational and charitable programs, advertising, direct family visits, and fundraising. Moreover, it is necessary to consider the cultural features of African American people. These actions should not contradict their views related to religion, community, family, and other factors. At present, this model of intervention is not always based on the culture, while it is very important for the best understanding of African American families. However, this approach may also negatively affect families. Understanding that they do not need to earn a living on their own, they can stop dealing with this issue and live a carefree and irresponsible life. Thus, it is necessary to distribute funds competently and combine financial assistance to poor African American families with educational work.

There are already many educational institutions aimed at primary education for children from African American families. They help in two aspects at once: children become more educated, and their parents have time for housekeeping and work (Lomotey et al., 2016). However, the main difficulty lies in the organization of such institutions. Their maintenance requires a lot of costs; moreover, people are not always willing to take their children there. Another challenge related to this idea is searching for teachers. If these problems cannot be solved, there should be another way of solution. For instance, teachers may visit these families and arrange lessons at home. It may be even less expensive than building a new school, moreover, people will fill a high level of care.

Thus, measures to help poor African-American families are being taken now, but their implementation is a difficult task. Significant efforts and investments from the state are needed to resolve this problem fully. A wide range of people who are willing to provide people with assistance free of charge is required as well. Undoubtedly, the help will be useless without the desire of the African Americans themselves. To help black people successfully, there should be a deep understanding of their culture and themselves. Such assistance should in no case be imposed, but people need to be informed that the process will benefit them. Thanks to collective efforts, a positive effect can be achieved. It may be a significant beneficial change for the whole nation.


Boyd-Franklin, N. (2006). Black families in therapy: Understanding the African American experience. The Guilford Press.

Chukwu, R. L. (2016). Blacks and poverty. AuthorHouse.

We will write a custom
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

Ehrenberg, R. G., & Smith, R. S. (2016). Modern labor economics: Theory and public policy (international student edition). Routledge.

El Malik, A. (2016). Bismillah & bean pies: How black Americans crafted an Islamic expression through nationalism. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Lomotey, K., Jackson, P. B., Adem, M., Ruf, P. X., Copeland, V. C., Huerta, A., … Brown, D. L. (2016). People of color in the United Stated: Contemporary issues in education, work, communities, health, and immigration [4 volumes]. ABC-CLIO.

Novak, M. (2018). Issues in Aging (4th ed.). Routledge.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, June 19). African American Families in Poverty. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, June 19). African American Families in Poverty.

Work Cited

"African American Families in Poverty." StudyCorgi, 19 June 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "African American Families in Poverty." June 19, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "African American Families in Poverty." June 19, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "African American Families in Poverty." June 19, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'African American Families in Poverty'. 19 June.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.