In your recent article, “The disappearing Black middle class” (July 27-Aug. 2 edition), I concur with most of what Jesse Washington reported. I would like to point out that it’s President Obama’s failure to address the broken student loan system that most hurts the Black “middle class.” Many African-American college graduates could be considered “middle class” if they weren’t saddled with student loan bills twice that of their White counterparts. In plain numbers, most college grads have between $25,000-$40,000 of loan debts. African-Americans easily bear double that amount of debt upon graduation from college as they entered school with little or no financial support or savings to help defray the cost to do so.
Having been encouraged to take a leap of Faith, so to speak and attend the “best” universities, young African-American students do just that, although they can’t afford the cost of higher education. They believe hype that student loans are the way to finance their academic pursuits, only to graduate burdened with insurmountable debt that’s unrealistic to be repaid in view of today’s shallow job market and shrinking economy. Who can actually afford to pay their mortgage, car note, family needs and meet a $1,000 per month bill for student loans?
If the federal government would establish loan forgiveness for not only inner-city teachers VIA Title 9, but all who arrived on campus and graduated despite having grown up on Public Assistance, for one example, maybe we would see improvement or positive change in the “Black middle class.”