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The State of Black Los Angeles

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There is so much to take in from the United Way LA and Los Angeles Urban League "State of Black LA" report that we don't know where to begin. Should we focus on the positive, like LA's extremely civic minded Black community that rates highest of any racial group in the county, or get caught up in the negative, like rating 4 points below the national average for equality (and quality of life). Los Angeles, one of the 4 largest cities in the country, has the lowest population of African-Americans (only 10%) and, while we know this is true, seeing the map of how segregated the community is (almost entirely in South Los Angeles) is jarring. There are less than 1 million Black folks in the county.

The most shocking disparity between racial groups to LAist is how differently our criminal justice system rules depending on skin color. Blacks received an average of 46 month long prison sentences for violent crimes while White defendants get just 13 months. Black and Latino drivers are searched 4 times as often as their white counterparts but Blacks are only found to have illegal materials 38% of the time. Meanwhile, White drivers who are searched have illegal materials more than half the time. 32% of Black men born in Los Angeles in 2001 are likely to go to prison at some point in their lifetime.

Hmmm. It's getting harder and harder to focus on the positive.

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The full report and executive summary are available here.