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8 Ways the Incarceration of Black Men Distorted the Numbers Showing African-American Progress


Why Are Black Men Still Invisible?

Combining the number of currently incarcerated men with the number of non-institutionalized men who go uncounted by the Census Bureau because of no response or no location suggests that 16 percent or more of Black men are invisible in conventional accounts of the population.



invisible black man

Why the Invisible Black Man Matters

In Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress, University of Washington sociology professor Becky Pettit argued that by not including prison inmates in many of the most important population surveys, a misleading snapshot of America is generated: one that exaggerates the educational, political and economic progress of Black Americans. This collective blindness, she postulates, has effectively concealed decades of racial inequality and led to misguided policy.

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