March 5, 2008

Values Gap in Black Community

61%

By a ratio of two-to-one, (61%-31%) African Americans say that the values of poor and middle class blacks have grown more dissimilar over the past decade.

By a ratio of two-to-one (61%-31%), blacks say that the values of poor and middle class blacks have grown more dissimilar over the past decade; in contrast, most blacks say that the values of blacks and whites have grown more alike during this same time period. On a related question, in a recent Pew survey, only about a quarter of all blacks (23%) say that middle class and poor blacks share “a lot” of values in common. A plurality (42%) say they share some values in common; 22% say they share only a little in common and 9% say they share almost no values in common. Whites share the view that there has been a convergence in black and white values in the past decade; they also agree that the values of middle-class and poor blacks have grown less alike. Well-educated blacks are more likely than blacks with less education to say that a values gap within the black community has widened during the past decade. At the same time, however, it is blacks with lower incomes and less education who are most inclined to see few shared values between middle class and poor blacks — suggesting that the perception of differences over values and identity within the African American community is felt most strongly by those blacks at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. Read More