While educational attainment is not upheld as a single sufficient condition for Black occupational attainment and upward mobility, the perspective of this paper is that educational investment is mandatory for Blacks, given the historical and persistent disadvantage of race in this society. With this perspective as its premise, the article documents the recent higher-education enrollment and degree-attainment status of Black Americans. What is concluded from the presentation of the available data is that: (1) Black students are not advancing and, in some cases, are losing ground relative to the momentum in higher education they achieved in the 1970s; (2) Black students remain underrepresented in graduate and professional degree attainment, particularly in the natural and technical sciences; (3) only a limited proportion of U.S. colleges and universities have contributed to the small pool of Black degree recipients in the natural and technical sciences. Further, the author suggests that a combination of individual and institutional-level efforts is needed in order to advance the higher educational participation and success of Black students.

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