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More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time)More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson

I think this was a good primer on the issues for someone who basically has no clue (e.g., me). It's interesting that he is taking a third and more nuanced position in arguing that it is a combination of structural and cultural factors that contribute to the issues of race and poverty, though in my reading, he does emphasize that structural factors are still more significant even if some of them appear to be nonracial. I felt his arguments were laid out clearly and backed up by actual reports and studies though it is unfortunate that because of the Moynihan report and the controversy around it (interpretations of it suggest that black culture is a factor in the breakdown of the black family and in the issue of poverty in black America), there are few or no studies around cultural factors, whether to support or critique the claims in the report.

Sometimes the writing style was dry but the content was important. I do agree with one review that he doesn't provide any concrete solutions but I think this is certainly a starting point to reframe any solutions that do arise.


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January 2013

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