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Study: Black Youth Feel Alienated, But Still Political

Study: Black Youth Feel Alienated, But Still Political

Black youth believe that discrimination is holding them back, the government cares little about them and that immigrants receive better governmental treatment than Blacks, according to a recent study.
The study, titled the “Black Youth Project,” was initiated to document and disclose the complex and wide-ranging ideas, attitudes and perspectives of the nation’s Black youth. The study also challenges many negative stereotypes attributed to Black youth.

Some 56 percent of Black youth say that government officials care little about them. Only 44 percent of White youth shared that view. Nearly half of the Black youth surveyed believe the government treats immigrants better than Blacks.

Even though they feel alienated from politicians, Black youth still involve themselves in politics as much as their peers, the study found. Nearly the same number of youth in each group reported that they had “buycotted,” or purchased a product from a company whose social or political values they liked, in the past 12 months.

“What is somewhat surprising is that [Black youth] haven’t completely checked out of the political system and don’t feel completely alienated from society,” says Dr. Cathy Cohen, the project’s leader and a professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

— By Ibram Rogers

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