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Deval Patrick lauds changes in Hub race relations

Deval Patrick lauds changes in Hub race relations

By State House News Service  |   Tuesday, July 26, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com |  Local Politics
Gov. Deval Patrick

Photo by Matt Stone

As advocates for urban communities laid out the health-care, education and criminal-justice challenges facing black residents in Boston, Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday described a “very different Boston” than the one he remembers, when he was a junior at Harvard University in 1976 — the last time the National Urban League held its annual conference in Massachusetts.

“The city, between 1970 and really including up to 1976, was totally engrossed, involved and riveted over the question of public school busing,” he said at the opening of the National Urban League’s 2011 annual conference. “Today, Boston is smarter, more diverse, younger, more dynamic, prettier in many respects. There are places that my niece and her pals hang out in the city that were just totally off limits in 1976.”

Patrick described his administration’s efforts to fund public education and close an education achievement gap for poor and minority students.

His remarks accompanied the release of an Urban League report, “The State of Black Boston,” that concluded “the tone of race relations in Boston, and a good many of the substantive indicators, are far better than they were just a few years ago. . . . (But) “other indicators show that many racial inequities have not closed, and some are moving in the wrong direction.”

For example, it said, black residents, a quarter of the city’s population, have a “significantly shorter” life expectancy than their white counterparts. That figure is driven, in part, by disparities in education, income and employment.

Even when socioeconomic status is factored out, black women see a much higher rate of infant mortality, the report said..

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1354133


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