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George Floyd: How far have African Americans come since the 1960s?




Black Lives Matter march in Washington D.C.Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protests spread across the US after the death of George Floyd

In the weeks following the death of George Floyd, much has been said about the long struggle by African Americans for equality in the US.

It is 57 years this August since civil rights leader Martin Luther King led the March on Washington to demand racial justice.

So how much progress have black people in the US made since the 1960s? We’ve looked at six measures.

1. Family wealth

In 2016, the latest data available, the average wealth of a white family was almost seven times more than a black family in the US.

The black-white wealth gap was larger in 2016 than it was in 1983, when black family wealth data was first collected.

Average US family wealth by race 1963-2016

In the 1960s, the data collected had non-whites all grouped together, rather than in separate groups.

The disparity was at a similar level then as in the most recent data, with white families having about seven times more wealth on average than non-white families.

Researchers at the Brookings Institute say: “The wealth gap reflects a society that has not and does not afford equality of opportunity to all its citizens.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Martin Luther King led the March on Washington, in 1963, to demand civil and economic equality

Wealth is calculated by a family’s assets – such as a house or savings – minus their debts.

Inheritance accounts for roughly 4% of annual household income in the US – so generational inequalities continue to have an impact, with less money being passed down through black families.

In 2016, an average white family’s wealth was over $700,000 (£550,000) more than that of an average black family.

2. Poverty

Although the wealth disparity remains significant, African Americans have become more economically well off since the 1960s.

A smaller proportion live in poverty than ever before, according to the latest data.

Poverty rate by race 1966-2018

In 2018, the black poverty rate was 20.8% – about half of that in 1966.

The white poverty rate has remained relatively steady.

There are 8.9 million African Americans living in poverty, according to the latest US Census Bureau data.

Poverty in the US is calculated by judging if a family’s total income is less than the family’s needs.

If it is, then every person in that family is considered to be in poverty.

3. Completing college

This is another area in which progress has been made since the 1960s.

More African Americans had completed four years of higher education by 2019 than ever before – 26% compared with just 4% in 1962.

College attainment 1962 v 2019

Percentage of people who completed four or more years of college

College attainment by white Americans has also increased since the 1960s – but at about half the rate.

4. Jobs

The African-American unemployment rate reached a record low of 5.5% in September last year – but it has spiked sharply because of the huge impact of the coronavirus crisis on the US economy.

Before this, the white unemployment rate had consistently been about half of the black unemployment rate since records began, in the 1970s.

The recent uptick in job losses has also disproportionately affected African Americans – their unemployment rate is 3.5% higher than the overall figure.

5. Wages

There hasn’t been much movement in the disparity between the wages of black and white Americans either.

The average income of black households is about 60% less than that of white households, with this disparity barely changing over the past 50 years.

Black wages have gone up, but roughly in line with white wages.

And today’s average wage adjusted for inflation has about the same purchasing power as it did 40 years ago.

6. Representation in Congress

Progress has been made in black representation in politics, with today’s US Congress being the most diverse ever.

The current Congress – the US legislative branch of government, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate – has 55 African-American members, up from 50 in the previous term.

As voting rights and protections were expanded during the civil rights movement, the number of black lawmakers increased.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lauren Underwood became the youngest black woman elected to Congress, in 2019, aged 32

The first elected Congress of the 1960s had just four African-American members – but by the end of the 1960s, there were 11.

This number has continued to grow and has more than doubled since the start of the 1990s.

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020




Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.


Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel



Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

[email protected]



Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum


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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more




Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.


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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery




Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.


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