College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.
Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.
An interesting portion of the article, for me at least, was this:
Mr. Williams recently applied to a Dallas money management firm that had posted a position with top business schools. The hiring manager had seemed ecstatic to hear from him, telling him they had trouble getting people from prestigious business schools to move to the area. Mr. Williams had left New York and moved back in with his parents in Dallas to save money.
But when Mr. Williams later met two men from the firm for lunch, he said they appeared stunned when he strolled up to introduce himself.
“Their eyes kind of hit the ceiling a bit,” he said. “It was kind of quiet for about 45 seconds.”
Last year I had to replace a car that had become to broken to be economical to fix rather than replace. I found it's replacement on AutoTrader. The owner and I came to an agreement on where and when to pick up the vehicle. I friend and I went to pick up the vehicle and when we arrived at this individual's office I called to let him know we were in the lobby. The owner came down and upon exiting the elevator proceeded to walk around looking for the owner of "the voice". Never mind the fact that my friend and I were the only persons in the lobby. It did not occur to this guy that the well spoken voice belonged to the black guy in jeans and sneakers. discussing this with my friend he commented: "you have no nigger in your voice."
So it shows that the attitudes seen in this article extend much further than employment. I used to wonder why Russel Simmons always wore his cap and sweater everywhere. I can't speak for him, but I think he wants to let everyone know that they cannot assume that the black guy in the cap and sneakers is a 'hood. He may run a multimillion dollar business. He may have more legal money in his pocket than you do. Not that one's value should be based on that, but for the sake of argument.
Another issue, which I think is significant and which I have e-mailed the author of the Emily and Greg study si whether Africans with actual African names (rather than hybridized Anglo-Muslim ones, which are most common) experience the same level of discrimination starting from resume through interview. I believe this is a relevant question because I have been in resume review sessions where the reactions to "clearly" African resumes was different than others. I observed a similar pattern with "full" Indian names and hybridized Indian names. It is also known that in some cases the employment of blacks who are not African-American (meaning a product of slave trade) is done to meet diversity goals without the "burden" of racial animosity that blacks supposedly harbor.