Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


How African Americans See Their Lives

The well-being of the black family has been the subject of public debate. Ebony and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are out with the Survey of African American Families. NPR's Tell Me More takes a look.

Joining Michel Martin for this conversation are Ron Lester of Ebony Magazine, who led the survey study, and Dr. Gail Christopher of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  The Kellogg Foundation provided the financial support for the study.

While there was more detailed information and findings from the actual study shared during this NPR discussion (full transcript), the following early exchange - for me at least - gets at the major highlight, and the contradiction we must continue to work through as a community:

MARTIN: OK. So, Gail Christopher, one of the numbers that stuck with you was that 88 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the quality of their lives, and that number actually disturbed you. And you wrote actually a whole piece about this for Ebony magazine in a column accompanying the poll results. Why did that disturb you?

CHRISTOPHER: Well, I think that the satisfaction with the quality of life reflects being lulled into, in some cases, too much complacency. The actual facts about our economic situation and about the achievement gaps in school and the overrepresentation in suspension rates and the incarceration disparities tell us as a community that we have a lot of work to do. And we have to be not satisfied if we're going to drive for the kinds of social change that's required.


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