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Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South

Posted: May 16, 2017

While most of America has largely recovered from the Great Recession, a new report from the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative (SRBWI) shows that black women in the rural south are trailing far behind the rest of the nation, living in an impoverished space where entire industries are shuttering factories and shedding jobs, world-shrinking broadband Internet is a novelty, and a lack of infrastructure stands in the way of education and proper nutrition.

The report uses existing data and features interviews with more than 200 families to examine the overall well-being of black women in nine rural counties across the Black Belt in Alabama and Georgia and in the Mississippi Delta. In these areas 20 percent of the population has lived in persistent poverty for the last five years, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture. The results show that when it comes to economic security, health, education and connection to the rest of the world, these women—and their children—are not afforded opportunities on par with their peers.

In fact, the report revealed that about nine out of 10 of these women are living in poverty. "And many of these women are heads of household, so we can extrapolate that there are an overwhelming number of children who are also impoverished," said report author Dr. C. Nicole Mason, who is also the executive director at the Center for Research & Policy in the Public Interest, during a press briefing about the report.

Read more on Read the full report.

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