More than half of black millennials in the United States say they or someone they know had been harassed or treated violently by police, a far larger number than their white or Hispanic peers, according to research findings released Wednesday.
"Black Millennials in America," a report by the Black Youth Project at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, assembled surveys and government statistics over more than a decade to paint a dire portrait of African-American men and women between 18 and 34 when compared to their peers in other racial groups.
In general, blacks were more likely to be poorer and unemployed and said they faced a greater possibility of gun-related violence and discrimination than those in other groups, according to the report, based on survey data and government statistics.
Authors Cathy J. Cohen and Jon C. Rogowski said they hoped the report would spread knowledge of the real-life experience of young blacks, giving a voice to their difficulties.
Among the study's key findings are the starkly different views of blacks when compared with other millennials on issues including policing, guns, the legal system and violence. The nation has reeled in recent years from riots and protests after high-profile deaths including those of Trayvon Martin in Florida; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.; and Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
Those deaths helped spawn the Black Lives Matter movement, which picked up steam and legitimacy with the help of social media. It has become its own political force, touching the race for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, which generally supports criminal justice reform and gun control.