When it comes to the U.S. Census, it’s no secret that black men are historically undercounted. As Georgia has one of the largest populations of black men, Fair Count, a nonprofit founded by Stacey Abrams, decided to do something about it.
Enter, Black Men Count.
Black Men Count is a Fair Count program dedicated to ensuring that black men, specifically, are fairly and accurately counted in the census across Georgia. Ed Reed is a program director at Fair Count and also leads the Black Men Count initiative. Reed says that there are multiple factors that cause black men to be undercounted in the census. Privacy and security concerns seem to top the list (though federal law prohibits census information from being shared with anyone, including other governmental entities).
Reed also says that census misinformation, of all kinds, is real. “One of the things we’ve heard recently is that in order to get a stimulus check through the funding package at the congressional level, you had to complete the 2020 census. And that’s just simply not true.”
A Black Men Count PSA serves as a chilling reminder that in the United States, black people were once only considered three-fifths of a human being. Fast forward some centuries, and it is critical that we—black people—be accounted for. The census, at the very least, translates to federal funding for communities as well as political power and representation. At the most, some say, the census is a semblance of our democracy.
“We have one shot to do it over the course of 10 years,” Reed says.
See the entire video above.