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Reagan Hails Black Financial, Schooling Gains

September 24, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — President Reagan, at a White House ceremony today proclaiming National Historically Black Colleges Week, said gains in education have sparked big economic gains for black Americans during the last six years.

"For decades these institutions have been giving black Americans hope--hope for a better life, hope that they would be able to play a full and active part in the life of the nation," Reagan told a group of 30 top scholars from the black schools around the country.

"You're America's best and brightest hope for the future," he told the students, who were to later receive Carnegie awards for their achievements.

Black colleges and universities have educated 50% of America's black business executives, 75% of black military officers, 80% of black judges and 85% of black doctors, Reagan said before signing the proclamation designating Sept. 21-27 as National Historically Black Colleges Week.

Funding Increased 19%

Reagan said that funding for black colleges has increased 19% since he became President and that opportunities for graduates have improved during the same period.

Black employment has moved forward twice as fast as white employment, he said.

"Since 1982, the real income of black families has increased almost 40% faster than white family income--and the share of black families in the highest income brackets has nearly doubled."

Reagan quoted economist Warren Brookes in calling 1981-86 "the best five economic years in black history" and noted that the latest black scores on college admission tests improved dramatically.

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