Although the US is the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the earth, it continues to grapple with child poverty. According to the US Census, 14.7 million children lived in poverty in 2013. Black children made up a significant share of those millions of children. Many sociologists and child advocate groups argue that child poverty in America is not only an economic phenomenon but also a moral dilemma. They contend that children are our greatest asset and if the country is not putting forth its best efforts to eradicate child poverty our country will decline and slip into a dismal state.
John Iceland the author of, Poverty in America, offers yet another definition of poverty. He says poverty is determined by measuring the reported income of various families against the appropriate poverty lines. For instance, in the US, the poverty line is $23,283 for a four-person family with two adults and two children; and $23,364 for a four-person family with a single parent and three children. (US Census website)
There are many causes of child poverty in the US. Herman Watson of the Borgen Project identified three such causes: (1) single parent households, (2) ethnicity, and (3) unemployment.
America can do better combating child poverty. The three causes of poverty cited, supra, can all be addressed. However, it will take more than merely changing and improving public policies. It will require community groups, faith-based organizations, school boards, businesses and every other civic group banding together to create an America where all children, including black children, can live and experience a prosperous life. The question is whether we have the will to eradicate poverty?