There are happy black people in the world!
Seriously, who would have thunk it? I mean, we all know there are judgmental black people in the world, but happy?
Wow! With tough economic times, and black unemployment numbers not looking too great, I guess being happy is the last thing people expect black people to be.
NPR recently released a poll that found 86 percent of African-Americans are satisfied with their lives and sixty percent believe they will eventually achieve the American dream of homeownership and financial security.
This is what my favorite college professor, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima called “resilience”.
The poll, conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health surveyed 1,081 people and asked them for their opinions on a variety of issues: finances, personal health, dating lives, assessments of their communities and neighborhoods.
The poll asked respondents about their feelings on their current financial situation. The study showed a 50/50 split between blacks describing themselves as being in ”good” or “excellent” financial shape, versus those feeling as though they are ”not good” financially or “poor.”
There have been improvements since a decade ago. More African-Americans have access to health care now, but twenty percent of respondents listed high blood pressure and stroke as the biggest health problems in their families, while 19 percent cited diabetes
On the subject of dating, love and relationships, which has been beaten to death already, black men and women are having difficulties in finding mates. Forty-three percent of black men said they were looking for a significant other, but only 25 percent of women were seeking the same. Two-thirds of single African-Americans between 18 and 45 said they were not looking for a longterm relationship at all. (Marriage was not a subject of the poll, only longterm relationships.)
“African-American women appear to have more security than men, and so women [might] see less men who bring financial security to the table,” said Harvard University professor of public health Robert Blendon, a co-director of the study.
Blendon speculated that this, too, might be tied in part to economic concerns. He pointed to studies in which black women are more concerned with the financial stability of their partners than Latinas or white women. And because black women are outpacing black men on a host of metrics that might determine their financial prospects — black women are more likely to attend and graduate college and receive advanced degrees — Blendon says they may be less likely to see much financial upside in pairing up, compared with black men.
Below are additional findings from the poll:
- About half of those polled said they lived in an area that was all or mostly black, and a plurality (44 percent) described themselves as middle class.
- About 93 percent of respondents said religion was either the most important part of their lives (33 percent), a very important part (45 percent) or a somewhat important part (15 percent).
- Nearly equal numbers said that all or most of the people who lived in their area were black (47 percent) and that some or just a few black people lived in their areas (51 percent).
- Thirty-six percent of respondents said they had experienced a few types of negative encounters with others at least a few times a year — being threatened or harassed, being treated as if they weren’t smart, receiving poorer service at restaurants or stores, having people act afraid of them, or being treated with less courtesy or respect than others — and that they felt like that experience could be attributed to race.
What do you think about the poll?