AFRICANGLOBE – All children deserve a good education and an opportunity to fulfill their dreams and reach their goals in life. But for many Black children, finding the support they need in order to become successful in life doesn’t always come easy. In fact, much of it depends on where they live.
According to a study done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families across the nation, some states do a very poor job of helping Black children prepare for college, careers and a rewarding future. Here are the top 10 worst states in which to raise Black children.
From #1 (being the worst) to #10, the worst states are:
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state’s oldest city is Green Bay, and its oldest incorporated village is Sauk City. The state is divided into 72 counties.
Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” because it is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly famous for cheese. Manufacturing, especially paper products, information technology (IT), and tourism are also major contributors to the state’s economy.
Mississippi is a state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city, with a population of around 175,000 people. The state overall has a population of around 3 million people. Mississippi is the 32nd most extensive and the 31st most populous of the 50 United States.
The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area. Its riverfront areas were cleared for cotton cultivation in the antebellum era, but the bottomlands were cleared mostly by freedmen after the war. Blacks made up two-thirds of the property owners in the Delta by the end of the 19th century, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land. Clearing altered the ecology of the Delta, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A largely rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, and median household income. The state’s catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States.
Since the 1930s and the Great Migration, Mississippi has been majority white, albeit with the highest percentage of Black residents of any U.S. state. From the early 19th century to that period, it was majority Black, a population composed largely of African-American slaves before the American Civil War. In the first half of the 20th century, a total of nearly 400,000 rural Blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African-Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in a U.S. state. African Americans are still a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic settlement during the plantation era. Since 2011 Mississippi has been ranked the most religious state in the country.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning “large water” or “large lake”. Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area. Its capital is Lansing, and the largest city is Detroit.
Though Michigan has come to develop a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, being home to the country’s three major automobile companies (whose headquarters are all located within the Detroit metropolitan area). While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is economically important due to its status as a tourist destination as well as its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, services, and high-tech industry.
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Plaquemines. Louisiana is bordered by Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, Texas to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.
Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, and African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the current Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period, a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous Africans as slave laborers in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1915, English was made the only official language of the state. Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, and four that have not yet received recognition.
Arkansas is a state located in the Southern region of the United States. Its name is of Siouan derivation, denoting the Quapaw Indians. The state’s diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta. Known as “the Natural State”, the diverse regions of Arkansas offer residents and tourists a variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Arkansas is the 29th largest in square miles and the 32nd most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state, a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government. The northwestern corner of the state, including the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area and Fort Smith metropolitan area, is also an important population, education, and economic center. The largest city in the eastern part of the state is Jonesboro. The largest city in the southeastern part of the state is Stuttgart, as Pine Bluff is in central Arkansas.
Ohio is a state in the Midwestern United States. Ohio is the 34th largest (by area), the 7th most populous, and the 10th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state’s capital and largest city is Columbus.
From just over 45,000 residents in 1800, Ohio’s population grew at rates of over 10% per decade until the1970 census, which recorded just over 10.65 million Ohioans. Growth then slowed for the next four decades. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Ohio was 11,594,163 on July 1, 2014, a 0.5% increase since the 2010 United States Census. Ohio’s population growth lags that of the entire United States, and Caucasians are found in a greater density than the United States average. As of 2000, Ohio’s center of population is located in Morrow County, in the county seat of Mount Gilead. This is approximately 6,346 feet (1,934 m) south and west of Ohio’s population center in 1990.
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th-most extensive and the 23rd-most populous of the 50 United States.
From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship, in part because of continued dependence on agriculture. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, White rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s, as it did not regularly reapportion the legislature from 1901 to 1961; urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented.
African Americans and poor whites were essentially disenfranchised altogether by the state constitution of 1901, a status that continued into the mid-1960s before being alleviated by federal legislation. Exclusion of minorities continued under at-large voting systems in most counties; some changes were made through a series of omnibus court cases in the late 1980s to establish different electoral systems.
Indiana is a U.S. state located in the midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th largest by area and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816.
Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $298 billion in 2012. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns.
South Carolina is a state in the southeastern United States, bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia across the Savannah River, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
The Province of South Carolina became a slave society after rice and indigo became established as commodity crops. From 1708, a majority of the population were slaves, many born in Africa.
South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation and the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788. South Carolina became the first state to vote to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 5th most populous state and 25th largest state in terms of land area, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivityin central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub.
What Needs To Be Done
The report included data at the state and national level that measured several factors that are indicative of how successful children will be later in life. African-American children scored the lowest in meeting satisfactory levels of these indicators. Indicators included factors such as economic status, and living in both supportive families and supportive communities. The states that scored poorly are also states where there is strong racial disparity.
Clearly, where Black children live can have an impact on whether or not they will get a fair shake early in life to prepare them for a successful future. Racial disparities exist and need to be addressed quickly. According to the study, by the year 2018, non-white children will represent the majority of all children in the U.S., and by 2030, the majority of the U.S. labor force will be non-white. The Annie E. Casey Foundation recommends many programs in the report that include mentoring for school and college children, and more summer internship opportunities as well as more college scholarships.
To read the entire report, visit www.aecf.org/resources/race-for-results/