Since the mid-sixties, local, state and federal policies and their resulting agencies have been involved in an ongoing war on poverty. The goals of this effort have been to eradicate poverty through exogenous motivators, which include "work fare" programs, "head start" programs, and welfare "reform" initiatives. As well-intentioned as these efforts may have been, results have proven less than successful, particularly for inner-city African-American youth. In his paper, "The Rich Get Richer and the Black Poor Get Poorer," Samuel Myers reiterates this assessment, and shows that the plight of the inner-city dweller who is poor, uneducated, and African American has degenerated over the last twenty-five years. The plight of this group, according to Myers, is in part, due to the marginalization of African-American males. This marginalization has resulted in unprecedented gang violence, school dropout rates, imposition of violence to property and persons in African-American inner-city communities, and a high proportion of African-American female-headed households with no, or low incomes below the poverty level.


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