This study explores the reasons for and ways in which the high proportion of African American college graduates in racialized and/or social service occupations account for part of the income disparity between blacks and whites. In particular, I assert that the disproportion of African Americans in public service and/or racialized jobs—those directed at or whose services are disproportionately used by blacks—yields considerable pay penalties that would not exist if black graduates were more diversified in their choice of occupations. I then explore the ways in which the equal opportunity protections and affirmative action policies thought to have been particularly important for middle-class mobility were, in fact, relatively ineffective for and often inapplicable to this portion of the black population. As a result, mainstream occupations and business ventures may appear riskier than their racialized or social service counterparts, thereby decreasing their appeal and the proportion of black college graduates interested in them.


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pp. 285-301
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