Foundations and the Fallacy of a Post-Racial America: African American Men and Civic Engagement

by Emmett D. Carson

Mar 29, 2013

In this essay, Dr. Emmett Carson provides three reasons foundations should engage in specific programs aimed at supporting African-American men and boys: the mythology of a post-racial society; saving an endangered species; and ensuring global competitiveness.
  • Widespread acceptance of the U.S. as a post-racial society has prevented civic discourse around race and discouraged foundations from researching racial disparities and supporting solutions.
  • African-American males have experienced significant socio-economic challenges for decades, which have been met with "the deafening silence of national indifference."
  • The current experiences of African Americans are rooted in the country's history of slavery and prejudice and the cultural legacy of dehumanizing African-Americans.
  • For the country to remain globally competitive, it is imperative that all Americans – including African-American men and boys – are able to fulfill their potential.
  • The disparities experienced by African-American males should compel foundations to act consistently with their values and mission statements to develop race-specific approaches for ameliorating these conditions.