Commission on Human Rights
KY Human Rights Commission releases report on KY African Americans
As part of its U.S. Black History Month education efforts, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights releases today a 2010 update to its report on the Status of African Americans in Kentucky.
Relying on a variety of sources such as studies and census information, the report encapsulates the most recent statistics on major issues that affect African American citizens in the state.
Though the information reflects improvements in some areas, Kentucky African Americans continue to struggle. At the socio-economic level, the white per capita income is nearly double that of African Americans. Twice as many African Americans compared to whites live below the poverty line. Approximately 92 percent of racially motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against African Americans.
“The state’s largest minority must have an equal opportunity to live with the same quality as everyone,” said John J. Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. “It is our hope that a hard look at statistics like these can help Kentucky plan for continued progress in wiping out remaining vestiges of discrimination.
The report also cites the following:
· The graduation rate of African American students is 11% lower than the white rate and 24% lower than the Asian graduation rate.
· According to the recent data, the dropout rate in 2008 was 2.9% for white students, 6.1% for African Americans and 6% for Hispanic students.
· There is a severe shortage of minority teachers in Kentucky public schools. Kentucky has only 3.7% African American teachers in proportion to 13% minority students.
· African American students maintain gradual increases each year at the postsecondary undergraduate level. The increase in enrollment has exceeded its representation in the Kentucky population.
· White Per Capita Income (PCI) was $23,429 in 2008 while the African American PCI was 44.4% less ($16,219).
· The average percentage of whites who own a home in Kentucky is 70.83% compared to 43.16% of African Americans who own a home.
· African American children are in foster care at a rate 2.5 times their representation in the census population.
· The unemployment rate for African Americans was 14.5% in July 2009 while it was 8.6% for whites.
· While whites comprise 88.3% of the state’s population and African Americans make up 7.7%, 31.7% of the total Kentucky prison population is African American.
The State of African Americans in Kentucky report is on the commission website at www.kchr.ky.gov. The document is near the top of the homepage.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights laws, all of which make discrimination illegal.