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It is no secret that life is more challenging for African American children than for other American children. The continuing legacy of segregation and discrimination feeds poverty—of the body and the spirit—and casts a shadow over their lives. Many are mired in a level of poverty that carries significant physical and mental dangers. They are likely to live in segregated and poorly resourced communities, with poor schools, poor housing, poor employment opportunities and a hostile outside world. And even families who escape the stifling effects of poverty are handicapped by the inequalities they experience daily. Evidence of racial disparities can be found everywhere—in housing, insurance, business, and funding for schools, as well as in racial profiling, job discrimination and more severe sentencing by courts. One should not wonder at the number of families that succumb to these hazards, but at the number who live their lives with dignity and hope.

This book can be used to jump start a serious discussion about the strengths of African American children and families, and the ways in which they can best be supported as they reach for the American dream.