New research released by the Urban Institute on Thursday comparing the social and economic status of African American families in 1965 to their condition today paints a troubling picture about their current state — and, by extension, the long-term economic survival of the collective black community.
Nearly 50 years after the release of the U.S. Department of Labor report “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which was highly controversial and widely criticized at the time, the new Urban Institute study found that the alarming statistics in the report back then “have only grown worse, not only for blacks, but for whites and Hispanics as well.”
The older report was an unsparing look at the roots of black poverty issued in the height of the Civil Rights movement and at the start of the War on Poverty. Commonly referred to as the Moynihan Report, named for its author, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it called for more government action to improve the economic prospects of black families. Moynihan was a sociologist and assistant secretary for policy planning and research at the Labor Department who eventually became a prominent U.S. senator.