Sunday, October 01, 2006

West Indians push black income over whites in Queens.

Nation: Go West Indian people!

In Queens, the median income among black households, nearing $52,000 a year, has surpassed that of whites in 2005, an analysis of new census data shows. No other county in the country with a population over 65,000 can make that claim. The gains among blacks in Queens, the city’s quintessential middle-class borough, were driven largely by the growth of two-parent families and the successes of immigrants from the West Indies. Many live in tidy homes in verdant enclaves like Cambria Heights, Rosedale and Laurelton, just west of the Cross Island Parkway and the border with Nassau County. David Veron, a 45-year-old lawyer, is one of them. He estimates that the house in St. Albans that he bought with his wife, Nitchel, three years ago for about $320,000 has nearly doubled in value since they renovated it. Two-family homes priced at $600,000 and more seem to be sprouting on every vacant lot, he says. “Southeast Queens, especially, had a heavy influx of West Indian folks in the late 80’s and early 90’s,” said Mr. Veron, who, like his 31-year-old wife, was born on the island of Jamaica. “Those individuals came here to pursue an opportunity, and part of that opportunity was an education,” he said. “A large percentage are college graduates. We’re now maturing and reaching the peak of our earning capacity.”
This reason is where fist fights start among people.
Despite the economic progress among blacks in Queens, income gaps still endure within the borough’s black community, where immigrants, mostly from the Caribbean, are generally doing better than American-born blacks. “Racism and the lack of opportunity created a big gap and kind of put us at a deeper disadvantage,” said Steven Dennison, an American-born black resident of Springfield Gardens. Mr. Dennison, a 49-year-old electrical contractor, has four children. One is getting her doctoral degree; another will graduate from college this school year. “It starts with the school system,” Mr. Dennison said. Mr. Vernon, the lawyer from Jamaica, said: “It’s just that the people who left the Caribbean to come here are self-starters. It only stands to reason they would be more aggressive in pursuing their goals. And that creates a separation.” Housing patterns do, too. While blacks make more than whites — even those in the borough’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including Douglaston — they account for fewer than 1 in 20 residents in some of those communities. And among blacks themselves, there are disparities, depending on where they live. According to the latest analysis, black households in Queens reported a median income of $51,836 compared with $50,960 for non-Hispanic whites (and $52,998 for Asians and $43,927 among Hispanic people). Among married couples in Queens, the gap was even greater: $78,070 among blacks, higher than any other racial or ethnic group, and $74,503 among whites. Hector Ricketts, 50, lives with his wife, Opal, a legal secretary, and their three children in Rosedale. A Jamaican immigrant, he has a master’s degree in health care administration, but after he was laid off more than a decade ago he realized that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He established a commuter van service. “When immigrants come here, they’re not accustomed to social programs,” he said, “and when they see opportunities they had no access to — tuition or academic or practical training — they are God-sent, and they use those programs to build themselves and move forward.” Immigrants helped propel the gains among blacks. The median income of foreign-born black households was $61,151, compared with $45,864 for American-born blacks. The disparity was even more pronounced among black married couples. The median for married black immigrants was $84,338, nearly as much as for native-born white couples. For married American-born blacks, it was $70,324.
There is a better than 50/50 chance that some Trini or Jamaican will start or be part of a conversation about this article and pull the American blacks are lazy thats why they can't get nowhere and whine too much about racism card. Then it will go downhill from there. But truthfully, that is the talk among West Indians and even Africans. Its wrong to say that since its not true, you find lazy bums in all groups.(Ed- yah, thats a good CYA) But it is great to see everyone moving on up creating a good life for their families.

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