By: Jae Jones
The South has always been a place where there was slow progress and studies today show that it is still that way. African-American women of the rural South still face difficult inequalities, and the rate of poverty is doubled for Latinos and Blacks as compared to White Americans. Although television shows shine light on the lights of parts of Atlanta, the city does not represent all the cities of the South. A new study found that in rural Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, white women were four times more likely to be employed and #Black women earned nearly one-third less than white women.
The most upsetting numbers show that the State of Black women and families in the rural south, on every social indicator of well-being, Black woman and children in the South rank the lowest. The report actually focused on nine rural counties throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi in six main areas that affect the lives of women and families: income and employment, poverty, education, health, public infrastructure and housing. However, this is only a portion of the many counties that are spreaded throughout the South, and the poor African-American women and children are not even counted.
One major factor in these communities is the lack of technology and Internet services. The one thing that keeps communities connected, learning, advancing and staying on top of what is going on in the world is through the Internet. Of 19 million Americans without access to the internet, 14.5 million live in these rural counties. However, the Internet is the least of the South’s there is also a problem with transportation to and from medical appointments. Although, many of these families are covered under Medicaid they have little access or transportation.
Help has made its way to the South in the past. In 2012, $4.8 billion philanthropic investments were allocated to the South, but only 5.4 percent went to programs focused on women and girls and less than 1 percent to programs focused on Black women and girls. The only feasible solution might be for migration for these families to escape these barriers.
An appointee of Obama’s, Christopher A. Masingill, the federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority, said the report data “will help decision makers, local officials, and community members design policies and programs that will help identify and fix the infrastructure, access, and services rural black women and impoverished families across the South need to live healthy lifestyles, pursue a quality education and make a better life for their children.” However, only time will tell whether or not there will be an improvement in these counties. There are always talk about helping poor communities but very little is ever done.