Black middle class

Black Middle Class

Black middle class

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The black middle class, within the United States, refers to African Americans who occupy a middle class status within the American class structure. It is predominately a development that arose after the 1960s, during which the African American Civil Rights Movement led to reform movements aimed at outlawing racial discrimination. Although the size of the black middle class can vary by definition, members of the middle class (for both blacks and whites) can be characterized by families who own their own home or small business, and by the strictest definition, those with a degree from college.Pattillo-McCoy, Mary. . (2000), University of Chicago Press, Chicago. p. 15.

United States

African Americans had limited opportunities for advancement to middle class status prior to 1961 because of racial discrimination, segregation, and the fact that most lived in the rural South. In 1960, forty-three percent of the white population completed high school, while only twenty percent of the black population did the same. African Americans had little to no access to higher education and only three percent graduated from college. Those blacks who were professionals were mainly confined to serving the African American population. Outside of the black community, they worked in unskilled industrial jobs. Black women who worked were almost all domestic servants.

Economic growth, public policy, black skill development, and the civil rights movement all contributed to the...
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