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Boston City Council to host Commission on Black Men and Boys public hearing

5/1/2014, 9:17 a.m.

City Councilor Tito Jackson is hosting a public hearing of the Council’s Commission on Black Men and Boys at 6 p.m. on May 1 at Madison Park High School in Roxbury.

The commission, which the council approved unanimously in February, will be part of the Office of the Mayor, and will consist of 14 mayor-appointed members. The commission is designed to work with all city agencies to advise on issues pertaining to black males and to advocate for legislation to improve the economic, health and safety, youth-violence, employment and educational conditions for this demographic.

In a press release announcing the commission, Councilor Jackson said, “It is time to pool resources. It is time to be aggressive. These are trying times for the future of black men in the City of Boston and I am joining with members of the community to shine a light on the bright future for this specific population of our city.”

Among the grim statistics endangering black males:

  • Black male students in grades K-12 were suspended from school in 2000 two-and-a-half times more than white students.
  • About 62 percent of black men graduated from high school in a year when the national graduation rate was 80 percent.
  • Among young black men ages 25-34, 53 percent are either unemployed or are working-poor.
  • Comprising 12 percent of the U.S. population, black men make up 44 percent of the prison population.
  • Disenfranchisement of 1.46 million black male voters due to felony convictions
  • The murder rate of black men — one out of 21 — is twice the death rate of the US Army in World War II, per the Department of Justice

All Boston residents are welcome to attend this hearing. Those who wish to testify should provide 15 copies of any presented documentation.