New York City scores ninth out of 50 cities in black male achievement, according to a first-of-its-kind report issued by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
Researchers crunched demographic and health data, educational achievement reports, the presence of national initiatives, city-led commitments and civic organizations and “CBMA membership” to come up with the rankings, which gave NYC a score of 73 out of a possible 100. NYC scored well with “high scores in the city-led commitment to black men and boys category with a presence of Cities United, My Brother’s Keeper and NYC’s Young Men’s Initiative and high scores in the presence of national initiative(s) supporting black men and boys,” the organization said in a statement. (There are 644 CBMA leaders and 376 organizations in the CBMA member network in NYC.)
Men counted in the study identified as “non-Hispanic Blacks” on census data.
Black males of all ages make up about 24% of NYC’s population, according to the report. But, it continued, 19.8% of black males in NYC live below the federal poverty line compared to 17.7% of all males here. Thanks in large part to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “universal pre-K” initiative, the Big Apple scored well on the percent of black boys — 71.8% versus 63.6% nationally — enrolled in nursery school, preschool or kindergarten. But reading scores were troublesome, with only 15% of black boys at or above proficiency levels in reading at grade 4, compared to 25% of all boys in the city.
Slightly more than a quarter (25.4%) of black males age 25 and older in NYC have an associate degree or higher compared to 39.1% of all males ages 25 and older in the city, according to the report.
NYC scored better than the national average on homicide risk, though the numbers were still chilling: For every 100,000 black males (age was not specified) in NYC, 27.8 died from homicide versus 7.6 per 100,000 of men overall. Nationally, 38.7 and almost 9.4 per 100,000 black men and men overall in the U.S. died as a result of homicide. The best strategies for reducing homicide rates in communities where they are high, said the report, is “investing in and providing opportunities to the people that live in them.”
The top ten cities for black male achievement were, in order, Detroit, Oakland and Washington, D.C., all of which received scores of 95, New Orleans (85), Baltimore (78), Boston (77), Charlottesville, Virginia (76), Philadelphia (75), NYC (73) and Pittsburgh, (69). The three worst were San Diego (25), Oklahoma City (23) and Columbus, Georgia (15).