Black History: More Than a Month
Written by GKCCEH
Published February 21, 2023

How the Nation’s Past Still Impacts Homelessness Among the Black Community in the Present

The Black community has disproportionately high rates of homelessness. What caused these numbers? Black history in the United States might have some answers. While this month is called “Black History Month” we want to pause to look at how our nation’s past still impacts the Black community in the present.

Black Homelessness in the United States

Our friends at The Night Ministry wrote an encompassing recap of homelessness and its correlation to Black history. 

“Homelessness is disproportionately experienced among historically marginalized groups in the United States, but for Black Americans, the disparity is especially stark. In Chicago, for example, despite making up about 30% of the general population, according to the City of Chicago 2021 Homeless Point-in-Time Count & Survey Report, African Americans account for more than 70% of those experiencing homelessness.

The causes behind this economic and social imbalance are deeply complex and interwoven, stretching far back into the nation’s history. From enslavement, to legalized segregation, to countless other injustices faced including in the present day, Black American communities have experienced far more than their share of systemic disenfranchisement and oppression, and higher rates of homelessness and poverty are just one result of that.”

We strongly encourage you to click here to read more.

Black Homelessness in Kansas City

According to last year’s Point In Time count, Black people experiencing homelessness made up over 35% of the total homeless population in Wyandotte County in 2022. PIT also told us that family homelessness is on the rise in our city. We know that these factors combined will impact Black families, especially Black mothers and children.The GKCCEH data team participated in a data work group in 2022 with the goal of mobilizing data to address inequities. The information collected showed a valuable breakdown, raising awareness of inequities pertaining to single mothers and other minorities. Click here to learn more about what they found. 

By educating our community about these hard truths during Black History Month and beyond, we can take further steps to account for the injustices committed in our nation in the past and spur on action in the here and now. 

What Can I Do?

Our team has put together a few actions for our readers to take today. Join us in doing the following this Black History Month:

  1. Order and read the book “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation”
  2. Take time to review our state’s PIT count numbers, especially by race
  3. Read this article on “Equity and Homelessness”
  4. Attend this training on “Advancing Racial Equity in Housing”
  5. Read this journal “How Well Do Housing Vouchers Work for Black Families Experiencing Homelessness?”
  6. Donate and patron black owned businesses in KC. KC black Owned
  7. Bank at Black owned Banks in KC restoring wealth back to the black community. Liberty Bank
  8. Learn More about Black Community Fund: Here
  9. Encourage and thank a Black mother for all she does and experiences every day.
  10. Learn about Black History Milestones. 
  11. Explore the History of Black Music 
  12. Celebrate Black Poems
  13. Read and Explore Ibram X Kendi book “How to Be an Antiracist” the opposite of “Racist” isn’t “Not Racist”.
  14. Celebrate the most Influential Black leaders in History. 
  15. Become Familiar with the Mortality rate. Read CDC’s article “Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality”
  16.  Support local Black non profits from the membership meeting. Giving Hope and Help and Teachers Like Me.