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“I Am They, They Are Me: The American Case for Data Disaggregation in the Black Community”

Author: Melodie Slaughter

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Abstract: Social programs have long been established in the US under the specific pretense of efficiently answering for harms implemented on the Black American community (defined as American descendants of slaves within this context). Such is due to this nation’s extensive history of labor extraction from this population as well as subsequent inequities implemented within this community. Nonetheless, harms have bled out into other communities of color as a result of an induced and dominant social spectrum of a white-black binary of racism. Subsequently, the United States grouped such communities into conglomerates, applying one-size-fits-all policy solutions to communities of varying cultures and backgrounds. This concept is especially prevalent within the Black community, as research provides several dichotomies and varying levels of struggles and successes between the Native-Born and Foreign-Born populations. This document provides a comprehensive review of literature as well as data collection and analysis in support of identity-related data disaggregation. Findings indicate that the Black community at large, is the only racial group in America by which immigrants tend to outscore natives in most socioeconomic indicators (de Walque, 2008). The data utilized throughout this research demonstrates the need to fill this gap via data disaggregation of residents’ ethnic identifiers to offer more targeted policy solutions towards targeted communities. Nonetheless, no such effort has been made to track these indicators for Black Americans.

Keywords: Native-born, Foreign-born, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status