Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Conservative Writer Points To A Reason Why African-Americans Are Vastly Underrepresented Among Ranks Of U.S. Classical Musicians And Audience Members

"A series of scrupulously bipartisan new studies by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts [concludes that] even in a growing economy, only about a third of Americans can be considered upwardly mobile -- meaning they will end up with more inflation-adjusted income and a higher relative economic standing than did their parents. The rest are maintaining their standing or falling behind; about one-third slip down the income scale over the course of a generation.

When specific groups are considered, the news is even more unsettling. Men in their 30s have experienced a sustained slide in their inflation-adjusted incomes, which fell by 12 percent between 1974 and 2004.

And most shocking of all: About 45 percent of middle-income African American children end up falling to the bottom of the income scale over a generation, compared with 16 percent of white children -- meaning that even solidly middle-class African American families lead fragile economic lives.

According to the Pew studies, America has less upward economic mobility than Denmark, Canada or Finland. "In America, more than other countries," says project director John Morton, "the circumstances of your birth have more to say about where you end up than how we tend to think of ourselves."" ...

Michael Gerson "The GOP's Pocketbook Issue" Washington Post November 14, 2007

Two of today's distinguished African-American classical musicians and classical music audience members.

Amateur chamber musician Dr. Condoleezza Rice (above) is warmly welcomed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on an almost weekly basis; while widely- recorded American classical conductor John McLaughlin Williams (below) is much less warmly welcomed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (although he is more musically talented. One of his 'problems' is that he believes deeply in American classical music).

Photo credits: (c) Stephen Crowley and the New York Times and © Eliesha Nelson [Violist] Cleveland, Ohio 44106. All rights reserved.


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