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A study reveals a painful truth behind a story about Chris Rock's neighbors.

Why are Chris Rock's only black neighbors also big-time celebrities?

A study reveals a painful truth behind a story about Chris Rock's neighbors.

Back in 2008, Chris Rock shared a story about the neighborhood he has the privilege of living in today.

Rock lives in Alpine, New Jersey, a town boasting one of the nation's richest zip codes.


Here are a few of Zillow's featured real estate listings in Alpine. Non-multimillionaires need not inquire.

He was among dozens of prominent African-Americans interviewed for the "The Black List," an HBO documentary that was created in response to "the persistent taint that western culture has applied to the word 'black.'"

In his story, Rock puts some of his neighbors on blast, namely his black neighbors.

You've probably heard of a few of them. Of course, there are very few of them in Rock's neighborhood.



GIFs from "The Black List."

Then he turns the spotlight to the guy who lives right next door to him.


As a comedian, Rock delivers the story with plenty of levity. But a few breaths after he finishes, a kind of heaviness sets in when you get his point and start to wonder:

Why are the only black people who live in Rock's neighborhood people who got rich through phenomenal achievements?

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

A June 2015 study by Stanford University peers down that rabbit hole and finds what they call a "neighborhood affluence gap."

According to the researchers, "black and Hispanic families effectively need much higher incomes than white families to live in comparably affluent neighborhoods."

Job seekers wait in line for a Chicago career fair. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

On average, black households earning $50,000 a year live in neighborhoods where the median income is $42,579. White households earning the same income live in neighborhoods where the median income is $53,000.

That's a neighborhood affluence gap of roughly 25%. With incomes at $100,000 a year, the gap is 20%.

And it's even worse for poor families. The neighborhood affluence gap between white and black households earning $13,000 a year is 40%.

The result is that blacks and Latinos are more likely to live in communities where it's harder for people to succeed.

Those neighborhoods are marked by underfunded schools, higher crime rates, fewer job opportunities, and a slew of other social woes stemming from poverty and inequality.

And when you consider, for example, that the black unemployment rate is more than twice the white unemployment rate, it gets clearer how steep the uphill climb really is.

With that in mind, is it so surprising that black families are rare in Chris Rock's neighborhood?

Because even if Rock himself were a successful dentist, like his neighbor, he probably wouldn't be living there.

This was a great interview. Read it here. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.