Black and White Americans are Thriving Equally Overall, but Differ on Key Metrics of Wellbeing

The Payne Center for Social Justice and Gallup release Black American Social Justice Dashboard, new tool for measuring social justice metrics.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Dr. N. Joyce Payne Center for Social Justice of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Gallup released a new report today, Black Thriving in America: 2023. This report is based on nationally representative data from a survey of over 10,000 U.S. adults, which assessed Black life experiences in the U.S. Findings are condensed into the Black American Social Justice Dashboard, one of the first tools of its kind designed to annually measure key social justice metrics. The report finds that while Black and White Americans are thriving equally overall, there are deeper disparities in their everyday life experiences.

“All Americans are in the same social, economic, political and racial storm, but some citizens are in yachts and others in canoes,” said M.C. Brown II, Executive Director and Research Scientist for the Payne Center. “Our goal is to use the Black American Social Justice Dashboard as a vital tool to monitor Black American progress toward social justice.”

While many Black Americans (57%) say they have not experienced discrimination because of their race or ethnicity in the past 30 days, they report being treated unfairly in public places at significantly higher rates than White Americans. Black Americans are more than twice as likely as White Americans to report being treated unfairly while shopping (22% vs. 8%), at work (22% vs. 9%), dining out (19% vs. 7%) or in a healthcare setting (18% vs. 8%).

Following several years of heightened conversation on race and policing in America, the report also reveals new data on Americans’ experiences with and sentiments towards law enforcement. When asked whether they have personally had an interaction with police in the past 12 months, White Americans are slightly more likely than Black Americans to say that they have (29% vs. 26%). However, in these interactions, Black Americans are far less likely than their White peers to say they were treated fairly (71% vs. 90%) and with respect (75% vs. 89%) by police.

The report also highlights income and racial disparities regarding feeling safe in one’s neighborhood. Black Americans (56%) are less likely to report feeling safe walking alone at night in the area where they live than Hispanic (66%) and White (77%) Americans. This finding is compounded by income and gender, Black adults in higher-earning households (78%) are nearly twice as likely to report feeling safe as those in lower-earning households (42%), and Black men feel much safer walking alone at night than Black women (71% vs. 43%).

“These findings underscore the amazing progress that has been made in our country, but also emphasize that our work is far from done,” said Camille Lloyd, director of the Gallup Center on Black Voices. “There is a need for continued efforts to address racial disparities in the United States and to strive for the best life imaginable for all Americans, regardless of their race or ethnicity.”

About the Dr. N. Joyce Payne Center for Social Justice
The Dr. N. Joyce Payne Center for Social Justice is an independent think tank created
by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The Payne Center is devoted to research and
programming that leads to pragmatic ideas on how to address the problem of social
justice facing society. The mission of the Payne Center is to inform public policy that
improves the lives of Black Americans and all marginalized groups.

About Gallup

Gallup is a global analytics and advice firm that helps leaders and organizations solve their
most pressing problems. Founded by George Gallup in 1935, the company became known
for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide. In 2020, Gallup launched the Center on
Black Voices as a flagship research initiative devoted to studying and highlighting the
experiences of more than 40 million Black American

Tangie Newborn
Dr. N. Joyce Payne Center for Social Justice

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