Black Lives Matter

William Julius Wilson (Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University) just joined the Brookings Institution. His first piece for the Brookings’ blog concerns what sociologist Loïc Wacquant terms “the other side of Black Lives Matter.” Wilson defines the other side:

…the problem of public space violence—seen in the extraordinary distress, trauma and pain many poor inner-city families experience following the killing of a family member or close relative.

In addition, Wilson explains the connection between violent crime, economic inequality, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the following way:

Segregation by income amplifies segregation by race, leaving low-income blacks clustered in neighborhoods that feature disadvantages along several dimensions, including exposure to violent crime. As a result, the divide within the black community has widened sharply. In 1978, poor blacks aged twelve and over were only marginally more likely than affluent blacks to be violent crime victims—around  forty-five and thirty-eight per 1000 individuals respectively. However, by 2008, poor blacks were far more likely to be violent crime victims—about seventy-five per 1000—while affluent blacks were far less likely to be victims of violent crime—about twenty-three per 1000.

Wilson 1214001

To read the full text of Wilson’s Brookings’ blog post, click here.


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