Despite the best hopes of the past half century, black urban pathologies persist in America. The inner cities remain concentrations of the uneducated, unemployed, underemployed, and unemployable. Many fail to stay in school and others choose lives of drugs, violence, and crime. Most do not marry, leading to single-parent households and children without a father figure. The cycle repeats itself generation after generation.
It is easy to argue that nothing works, given the policy failures of the past. For Lewis D. Solomon, fatalism is not acceptable. A complex and interrelated web of issues plague inner-city black males: joblessness; the failure of public education; crime, mass incarceration, and drugs; the collapse of married, two-parent families; and negative cultural messages. Rather than abandon the black urban underclass, Solomon presents strategies and programs to rebuild lives and revitalize Americaâs inner cities. These approaches are neither government oriented nor dependent on federal intervention, and they are not futuristic.
Focusing on rehabilitative efforts, Solomon describes workforce development, prisoner reentry, and the role of nonprofit organizations. Solomonâs strategies focus on the need to improve the quality of Americaâs workforce through building human capital at the socioeconomic bottom. The goal is to enable more people to fend for themselves, thereby weaning them from dependency on public sector handouts. Solomon shows a path forward for inner-city black males.
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