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Introducing Race and Poverty
Posted by Jay Readey of The Chicago Lawyers' Committee on May 8, 2012
"The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line."
W.E.B. DuBois famously opened the Forethought of his 1903 manuscript, The Souls of Black Folk, with the declaration that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” Over 100 years later and into the second decade of the Twenty-First Century, it has become increasingly clear that while we have made strides on racial difference and inequality, problems persist. In the Twenty-First Century they rear their heads most menacingly at that point where the “color-line” intersects with the poverty line. For while African-Americans, Latinos and other minority groups have made significant strides in American society, the poorest among us have remained locked in intractable hopelessness, nihilism and anomie. The formation of a significant and racialized “truly disadvantaged” minority in America has challenged our assertions that all people are created equal and that the United States is the land of opportunity.
This space on RaceAndPoverty.org is an online gathering for all those who care about the future of America, and see the need to address these issues that pass through the intersection of Race and Poverty. This is a place for thought leadership, idea generation, event sharing, and social connections. If we are to transform America into a land of integration premised on equal dignity, and from hopelessness to opportunity, we must accelerate the pace of information sharing so that the best ideas about how to bridge our social and economic divides can rise to prominence and come into practice. RaceAndPoverty.org is built as a shared space that can engage a nation of joiners, building social capital to address collective problems with the strength of many. Through Openhill’s distinctive ClusterSite technology, we empower our partners to participate in the crowdsourcing of ideas and to publish syndicated content from RaceAndPoverty.org on their own websites. From its home in Chicago where the host organization Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law works every day to fight poverty and racial inequality, RaceAndPoverty.org promises to influence dialogue and action on America’s most pressing social and economic concerns. Please join us in the fight and make RaceandPoverty.org part of your discourse on what matters.
Jay S. Readey