Percentage Of Black Males Working Thesis

Length: 10 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Sociology Type: Thesis Paper: #94830481 Related Topics: Urban Sociology, Industrial Sociology, Sports Sociology, Working Class
Excerpt from Thesis :

She sent equally matched pairs of Black and white men to apply for low-skilled jobs in 350 places in the area. These applicants were bright, articulate students who pretended to apply for the jobs. The result was that the Black applicants without criminal record were called back for interview only 14% of the time as compared to white applicants with criminal record at 17% of the time.

The author quotes Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee as saying that a lot of work had to be done towards educating employers and their attitudes towards race. Taylor commented that racial discrimination in employment affected the region, its workforce and inner-city growth. The result of the study did not surprise many African-Americans who knew the existence of this type of discrimination in the region's job market. On the other hand, many white Americans thought that direct, racial discrimination of this kind had become less of a problem in society. The sociologist-researcher Pager expressed surprise at the result. She expected that the effect of a criminal record would make a difference. Instead, her study revealed that racial stereotypes, prejudices and assumptions remained a strong factor in hiring. Leonard Wells, chairman of the Milwaukee Parole Committee inferred from the result that Black male ex-offenders would, therefore, face greater odds in finding jobs and reintegrating into the economic mainstream. He perceived a silent but strong prejudice against Black men in getting employed and remaining oppressed. Wells was also a former police officer and president of the League of Martin, an organization of Black Milwaukee police officers. He expressed disappointment towards the claim of reintegrating people into the community and solving unemployment among the Blacks in the community. Many said criminal record prevented Blacks from obtaining jobs. But it was only, undisputedly and clearly racism behind it.

If the Black applicant had criminal record, he could expect only a 5% chance of being called back for an interview, the study added. White men without criminal record had a high 34% chance. The law prohibited discrimination against applicants with criminal records if their crime did not correspond to the job requirement. Professor Phoebe Weaver Williams of the Marquette University who specializes in employment discrimination. She noted that the setting up of many laws against it had not corrected it. The result of Pager's study showed that not only did criminal record deny employment opportunity. It also found that employers were unwilling to take risks on Black applicants, even when they had no criminal record. The study said employers perceived Blacks as possessing criminal tendencies.

The U.S. Department of Justice tried to explain the bad image as media's creation of Black men as gangsters, thugs and rappers in dark areas. It also said that more of them entered prisons than college. These inmates were brought back to their communities with little chances of getting legitimate jobs. Employment, or the lack of it, was, in fact, a factor in recidivism. Associate Director Weldell Hruska of Project Return in Milwaukee said that Black felons were certainly viewed by the job market with hostility. He said he could well understand why many of their clients, who are felons and convicts of misdemeanors, got discouraged or gave up applying for jobs.

Finally, the author presents the problem about employers still making hiring decisions, based on fear and misunderstanding surrounding color.

Love, Alice Ann. Black Men Complain of Job Discrimination at Social Security. Topeka Capital Journal: Associated Press, 1999. Retrieved on March 2, 2009 at;col1

Black male employees at the Social Security Administration have a job but not a career. This was the sentiment expressed by Harry Dunbar and his two co-complainants in a class action suit filed against the SSA at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1995. In their complaint, they claimed that Black men...


After four years of delay, the Commission ruled that the joint complaint could proceed. Social Security officials, led by deputy commissioner Paul Barnes, however, denied the charges. Instead, they claimed SSA as among the most diverse agencies of government. Barnes said that 6.7% of their employees were Black men, compared with the civilian workforce at only 5.2% in the national level. Among its most senior executives, he added, 10% were Black men and 6.1% of those who received promotions in a single year were Black men.


This study used the descriptive-normative method of research in recording, describing, interpreting, analyzing and comparing information, gathered from authoritative or peer-reviewed journals on the subject matter.

Results recent Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, conducted in New York City, concluded that Black workers in general were likelier to complain about discrimination in the workplace on account of their race (Coleman et al. 2008). Black males, in particular, were found to be 6-7% likelier to do so than white male or even Black female workers. Black males were also 11 times likelier to complain about discrimination in wage raises and promotions than white males. The Study also concluded that the fear of improper lawsuits of racial discrimination by employers was baseless in deciding not to hire Black workers (Coleman et al.).

Another study, conducted in metro Milwaukee, showed that employers exercised racial discrimination in selecting applicants (Johnson-Elie 2003). They preferred white male applicants with criminal records to Black male applicants without criminal records even if these two groups had comparable qualifications (Johnson-Elie).

2004 study conducted by Princeton University Sociology Professors Bruce Western and Devah Pager yielded similar results (Porter 2006). Black males without criminal record were treated the same way as white males with criminal record. They refused employment to 57% Black male applicants as against only 35% of white male applicants. They were also inclined to give white ex-convicts a second chance but would not take the same risk with Blacks with a criminal record (Porter).

According to the Community Service Society's annual report, unemployment and job holding have remained at high levels in New York City, especially to Black males, despite some measure of economic recovery since the September 2001 attacks (Porter 2006). In 2003, only half of the City's Black men were employed at 51.8% as compared to Black women at 57.1% and white men at 75.7%. The report also said that recession already occurred 9 months before the September attacks. From then to September 2003, the most affected groups were led by Blacks. They comprised 27-35% of the unemployed 16-24 years old African-American and Hispanic men. During the 1989 recession, Black employment went down to 16.6% below that of both white and Hispanic males at 8.3%. The gap between Black and white men widened to 23.9% and between Black and Hispanic men to 13.9% (Porter).

Three Black male employees of the Social Security Administration filed a class action suit against the Administration for discrimination at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1995 (Love 1999). They claimed that they received fewer promotions and less than satisfactory job evaluations as they deserved. SSA deputy commissioner Paul Barnes denied the charges. Instead, that the SSA is one of the most diverse agencies, if not the most diverse agency, in the government. He said that it had 6.7% Black employees as compared with 5.2% civilian workforce and in the national level. He added that 10% of its most senior executives were Black men and that 6.1% of those who were promoted in a single year were Black men (Love).

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Summary - According to studies, Black males were 6-7% likelier to file complaints of work discrimination than white males in New York City and 11 times likelier as regards raises and promotion than white males and Black women (Coleman 2008). On the other hand, Milwaukee employers preferred to hire white male applicants with criminal record to Black male applicants even without criminal record even if they had comparable qualifications (Johnson-Elie 2003). The Community Service Society's 2003 annual report also said that unemployment and job holding were highest among Black males before and after the September attacks in New York City (Levitan 2004). Only half of the City's Black men were employed at 51.8% as compared to Black women at 57.1% and white men at 75.7%. New York City employers refused to hire Black male applicants without criminal record as against 35% of white male applicants on the basis of race. These employers were willing to grant white ex-convict applicants a second chance but would not take the same risk with Black male applicants (Porter 2006). And a class suit filed by Black male employees against their employer, the Social Security Administration, claimed they received fewer promotions and less than deserved satisfactory job evaluations (Love 1999).

Conclusion: the findings of the foregoing studies all provide evidence that Black male workers suffer from discrimination in getting hired and in obtaining raises and promotions on the basis of race.

Recommendations - Honest and earnest intentions and measures on the part of leaders should include the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Coleman, Major C.; Darity, William a.; and Sharpe, Rhonda V. Sharpe. Are Reports of Discrimination Valid? American Journal of Economics and Sociology: American

Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc., 2008. Retrieved on March 2, 2009 at;col1

Johnson-Elie, Tannette. Study Shows How Deeply Black Men Face Discrimination in Hiring. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: JSOnline, 2003. Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from

Levitan, Mark. A Crisis of Black Male Employment: Unemployment and Joblessness in New City. Community Service Society Annual Report. Community Service Society, 2004. Retrieved on March 2, 2009 at

Cite this Document:

"Percentage Of Black Males Working" (2009, March 08) Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

"Percentage Of Black Males Working" 08 March 2009. Web.28 September. 2021. <>

"Percentage Of Black Males Working", 08 March 2009, Accessed.28 September. 2021,

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