Violence Trends, Patterns And Consequences For Black Males In America: A Call To Action

by Arnold Chandler

Jan 1, 2016

Summarizing and marshalling the latest scientific research, this report focuses on identifying the patterns, predictors, and interventions for reducing violence among Black males in the United States. The report provides trend data on violent offenses and victimization among young Black males and shows how the exposure to violence profoundly undermines their cognitive, educational, and mental wellbeing and increases the likelihood that they will commit acts of violence in the future.
  • Black males are significantly more likely than other males to be non-fatally violently victimized, and the likelihood is most pronounced for young Black males.
  • Rates of fatal and nonfatal violent victimization are far higher for young Black males living in neighborhoods of high disadvantage.
  • Black youth are substantially more likely to witness serious violence compared to their White counterparts, and household income does not appear to buffer against the risk of exposure.
  • Risk of violent victimization among Black males is highly concentrated and transmitted through high-risk social networks.
  • Young Black males ages 14 to 24 constitute roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, yet they account for 16 percent of homicide victims and 27 percent of homicide offenders.
  • A combination of several studies suggest that there is indeed a causal relationship between serious violence exposure and subsequent violence and aggression.
  • Community violence has an acute negative causal impact on the cognitive performance of younger and older children, as well as adolescents, particularly with respect to reading and vocabulary skills.
  • Children who moved from highly disadvantaged neighborhoods to better neighborhoods before the age of 13 garnered an overall 31 percent improvement in job earnings by young adulthood.