The Consequences of Structural Racism, Concentrated Poverty, and Violence on Young Men and Boys of Color

by Carol Silverman; Mary Louise Frampton; Michael Sumner

Apr 1, 2011

Defining violence broadly as "systemic injury directed against a group or geographic area," this research brief describes the scope of violence that black young men and boys face as a result of structural conditions. It recommends policy for addressing both the root causes of violence and the trauma that people are facing right now.
  • Low-income African Americans are more likely than low-income white Americans to live in areas of concentrated disadvantage.
  • In addition to facing poverty, citizens living in neighborhoods where disadvantage is concentrated face more disruption and violence from police presence.
  • Continuous instability makes it more difficult for poor neighborhoods to realize collective goals.
  • Community improvement requires that resources be redirected to poor neighborhoods along with mechanisms to avoid gentrification.
  • Nonprofits that engage youth in advocacy and in their communities have shown promising results for youth violence prevention.