State of Black Chattanooga report released
Urban League of Greater Chattanooga brings attention to disparities among Black residents in city
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga delivered its inaugural State of Black Chattanooga report this afternoon revealing critical data for Black residents in the city.
The report revealed various gaps in equality for Blacks in Chattanooga, specifically economics, education and health.
Rev. Dr. Ernest Reid of the Second Missionary Baptist Church stressed the importance of knowing Black history alongside trying to fix the community’s issues.
“As a community, we must better understand the history of Blacks in America to truly work toward fully addressing the structural, racial inequalities or systems of power limiting success and outcomes for Blacks,” Reid said.
Data revealed the median income for Black families to be less than half that of white families as well as a higher mortality rate for diabetes among Blacks.
Dakasha Winton of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee expressed additional concern lack of Black-owned small businesses in the city was also addressed.
“Extraordinary gaps exist in ownership by race,” Winton said. “With nearly a third of the region’s population being Black, Black-owned businesses only account for 2.2% of the over 5,000 employer-owned firms.”
In terms of education, Reid pointed to systemic racism playing a role in Hamilton County’s school systems.
“Looking into the Class of 2020 data on post-secondary attainment, only 21% of Black students graduating from Hamilton County high school are considered a ready graduate compared to 53% of white students,” Reid said.
The report hopes to serve as a catalyst for deeper investment into numerous conditions for Black residents in Chattanooga.