Filmmaker and social activist Janks Morton has launched a new online campaign, Ten Days of Black Facts, which aims to dispel commonly held myths about the black community. The first four facts have worked to undo popular ideas about the number of black men in jail versus the number of black men in college (the latter is higher); the number of black women enrolled in college versus the numbers for women of other races (also higher); and the ratio of black women in college to black men in college (the gap isn’t nearly as wide as is often suggested).

By and large, the feedback Morton has received for his facts has been positive. But some detractors have left comments challenging the veracity of his stats and making snide comments about qualifiers that should also be mentioned and that would negatively impact the positive numbers. For instance, when he states that 9.4 percent of black women are enrolled in college, one commenter retorts, “Show me the graduation rates.” Another quips about a spike in student loan debt. The contesting of Morton’s stats as presented has prompted him to post a popular Franz Fanon quote from Black Skin, White Masks:

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore, and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.

Primarily, Morton has used the most recent U.S. Census stats from the American Community Survey to validate his numbers. Here are a few of his findings:

What do you think of Morton’s campaign? Are those who challenge the conclusions he’s reached experiencing cognitive dissonance? 

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  • Me

    @SMH

    Just to close this out, I did initially take issue with your statement that black women will always fare well in corporate America because they’re automatic quota darlings, which reads as if black women don’t have to put in work to even get recognized by corporate America in the first place, let alone navigate up that world. My original question was just asking for your data source. You never supplied that though, so I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, and pulled the following data they provided through 2010 (http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2010.pdf):

    as a % of black men:
    employed – 59%
    employed w/bachelor’s degree – 75%
    employed in financial/professional industry – 15%
    employed as management/professional occupation – 24%

    as a % of black women:
    employed – 55%
    employed w/bachelor’s degree – 72%
    employed in financial/professional industry – 14%
    employed as management/professional occupation – 34%

    But wait:

    Now you would look at the last statistic and think it’s a case for “automatic quota darling” status, but if you drill down to the actual occupations that fall under management/professional, you’ll see that the 10% differential is a result of significantly more black women in Education and Healthcare positions (not sure that this is what you meant by corporate America). For all other management/professional positions, including management, finance, computer/math, architecture/engineering, legal), black men either outpace or are right at par with black women. At the end of the day, I was just asking you to clarify, though. So have a good evening.

  • Me

    sorry if this posts twice:
    Just to close this out, I did initially take issue with your statement that black women will always fare well in corporate America because they’re automatic quota darlings, which reads as if black women don’t have to put in work to even get recognized by corporate America in the first place, let alone navigate up that world. My original question was just asking for your data source. You never supplied that though, so I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, and pulled the following data they provided through 2010 (http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2010.pdf):

    as a % of black men:
    employed – 59%
    employed w/bachelor’s degree – 75%
    employed in financial/professional industry – 15%
    employed as management/professional occupation – 24%

    as a % of black women:
    employed – 55%
    employed w/bachelor’s degree – 72%
    employed in financial/professional industry – 14%
    employed as management/professional occupation – 34%

    But wait:

    Now you would look at the last statistic and think it’s a case for “automatic quota darling” status, but if you drill down to the actual occupations that fall under management/professional, you’ll see that the 10% differential is a result of significantly more black women in Education and Healthcare positions (not sure that this is what you meant by corporate America). For all other management/professional positions, including management, finance, computer/math, architecture/engineering, legal), black men either outpace or are right at par with black women. At the end of the day, I was just asking you to clarify, though. So have a good evening.

  • are these black americans? or black people across the world?

    • Me

      I would think these are just Americans, since the article says he used mostly Census data

  • simplyme

    Really…? A wonderful article where celebrating the advancements of Black people (both male and female) and of course there is a comment like yours that attempts to undermine the accomplishments of Black women… We are not competing with each other. Where did this mentality come from? You might as well be of of those White people the quote in the article is referring to… talking about affirmative action…a White male would just as readily say the same to a Black male. I guess you would agree then too that Black male success is not as deserved in corporate America as that of a White male’s…?? Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

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