Executive Summary 2020

First issued in 1976, the State of Black America® is one of the most highly-anticipated benchmarks and sources for thought leadership around racial equality in America across economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice and civic participation. Each edition contains penetrating commentary and insightful analysis from recognized authorities and leading figures in politics, the corporate and tech sectors, the nonprofit arena, academia and popular culture. This year, the State of Black America® also includes the Equality Index™, a quantitative tool that tracks the progress of racial equality in America.

The 2020 State of Black America®, Unmasked, matches the national mood for serious introspection, exposing the human toll and economic devastation of a global pandemic on Black America while laying bare the deep-rooted inequities that predated the pandemic and accelerated the virus’s deadly spread...

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The 2020 Executive Summary of the State of Black America® report, issued by the National Urban League, stands as a seminal document in the ongoing discourse of racial equality in the United States. This edition, titled "Unmasked," aligns with the year's gravitas, revealing the stark realities faced by Black Americans amid a global pandemic and its resultant economic upheaval. The report underscores systemic racism's role in exacerbating the pandemic's impact on Black communities, reflected in disproportionate rates of COVID-19 fatalities, economic disenfranchisement, and the erasure of recent gains in Black wealth and employment.

This year's edition also introduces the Equality Index™ as a key analytical tool, charting the progress, or lack thereof, in bridging racial disparities in economics, education, health, social justice, and civic engagement. The report offers a sobering perspective, illustrating that the strides made during over a decade of economic growth have been insufficient in closing these critical gaps. This year's narrative is particularly compelling as it unfolds against the backdrop of an election year, urging Americans to consider their choices and the country's direction in the face of deep-rooted racial inequities.

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