African Americans and the incarceration gap

Daily Circuit Friday Roundtable
Daily Circuit illustration

African Americans are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites. Our Friday Roundtable will discuss the reasons the rate is so high, plus its effect on the black community.

Learn more about African Americans and prison:

Facts about blacks and prison

•From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people

•Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.

•Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in ever y 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control.(NAACP)

How prison and a shifting economy have held young black men back

"On any given day in 2010, almost one in ten black men ages 20-39 were institutionalized," according to a new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. That shocking statistic is just one piece of evidence, University of Chicago economists Derek Neal and Armin Rick argue, of a divide between black and white men in the US that has been yawning wider for decades. (Vox)

Debunking a myth about black men and prison

What does the line "There are more black men in jail than in college" have in common with the Jheri curl? Answer: They were invented by white men (Jheri Redding and Vincent Schiraldi, respectively) and adopted enthusiastically by black people, and they left a nasty stain on the shoulders of millions of black men.

It's been more than 20 years since the Jheri curl faded away into infamy, and I'm proud to say that even in the 1980s, I never sported a curl. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the line "There are more black men in jail than in college." (The Root)