A new study by researchers at the Univerity of California, Los Angeles and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles finds that African American men who become successful economically do not escape the effects of racial discrimination.
The study found that Black men who reach a high socioeconomic status still face higher levels of discrimination compared to their White counterparts. This discrimination can also impact Black men’s physical and mental health, according to the study.
The study examined daily discrimination, which is often subtle and implicit. For Black men, daily discrimination includes being followed around in stores or being given poorer quality service at businesses.
“While people think that racism exists, they believe it exists only among people who are poor, or who aren’t highly educated,” said Vickie Mays, a coauthor of the study and a health policy and management professor. “They have no idea how much discrimination exists as people go up the ranks.”
For Black men who’ve seemingly achieved the American Dream, facing daily discrimination is disillusioning, Professor Mays said. “You work, you achieve, you gather all of this great prestige in society in terms of your job or your level of income, and then someone still doesn’t let you be all that you can be.”
The full study, “Money Protects White but Not African American Men Against Discrimination: Comparison of African American and White Men in the Same Geographic Areas,” was published on the website of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It may be accessed here.