Most black adults think half the black children are headed for lives of trouble with drugs and the law, according to a survey released by two children's advocacy groups.
"This poll confirms what black leaders already know - that we have a major black-child crisis, the worst since slavery," Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, said Thursday. The defense fund and the Black Community Crusade for Children commissioned the poll.Among the survey's findings: Half of black adults said these are "really bad times" for black kids; a third thought these are "tough times" for them. Only 14 percent said these were "good times" or "very good times" for children.
Some 46 percent of adults polled said dread of violence is their greatest fear for their own children or the children they know.
Two-thirds of adults polled said they think at least half of all black children will become teenage parents; 62 percent said they think at least half of black children will have their lives destroyed by drugs; and 61 percent said half or more of black children will get in trouble with the law.
Black youth echoed the adults' concerns, although they were generally more optimistic, the poll found. Three-quarters of the 11- to 17-year-olds polled said these were very good (23 percent) or OK (52 percent) times for them personally.
When speaking of their own potential, black youths were generally confident, according to the poll. Seventy-four percent said if they work hard and try their best, they can be successful and have the kind of life they want. Only 23 percent said that even if they try their hardest, it will be very difficult to succeed.
Black children find their heroes not among famous athletes or entertainers but in their own families, according to the poll. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed named their parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles as their role models.