According to analysis by researchers at the University of Manchester, unemployment rates among black people are higher in Britain than in the US - 3% higher for men and 2% higher for women.
Dr Tony Sewell, of the charity Generating Genius which helps underrepresented groups get into universities, and Bonnie Greer, American born author and playwright,
Bonnie Greer, the American born author and playwright said that measures such as affirmative action worked in the US because it levelled the playing field and changed the culture.
But Dr Tony Sewell, said that similar measures, would not work in the UK and claimed that "the people who benefit from affirmative action are not the core African-american youth who still have tragic levels of unemployment".
"Jobs have not been aligned with education," he said, "which is the key issue".
Bonnie Greer said that the visibility of black males in the media is "zilch... they are invisible".
"Until you have role models... you are not going to empower people", she said.
"There has to be some sort of intervention", she said, but maintained that the central government doing it was not the a British solution.
She went on to say that "we are in a dire and emergency situation".
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