Let's get it straight upfront that there is essentially no difference in basic human abilities due to genetics, skin color, and inheritable traits. It is what happens thereafter that determines one's path and success in life. The key factor is based on luck - on which culture you were born into. It is what has fed a person's beliefs in life, which are THE determinant of how well a person's life goes.
A person's culture will determine where that person will go thereafter. Whether a Caucasian or a black person is born into a culture of poverty both are equally affected. Both will maintain their momentum in life unless there is significant intervention. Again, there is no inherent factor in one being of a particular race - it is the cultural set of beliefs that a person learns that determines that person's beliefs and then it is those beliefs that determine that person's life path.
Significant intervention can only be done by strong and persistent education for a person to learn new beliefs AND to proactively use thinking to change his/her beliefs to what really works.
THE DISCUSSION OF THE CAUSE AND OF THE REALITY
If a particular person follows a particular path it is simply because of what he knows. If he doesn't follow another path, it is because his knowledge is not such that he would do so.
There is no fault there, as it is simply about awareness.
A tautological (mathematical) truth is the "Every person simply does his best at the time given the current limits of his awareness. In other words, he will only do differently when he has sufficient awareness to do differently. Knowing something is wrong or bad or not useful is not sufficient knowledge or awareness to do something new, as the old beliefs and 'knowledge' may still be thought of as true.
(See this most valuable concept for both eliminating self criticism and criticism of others combined with the idea of what it will do for your ability to operate in life:
A major respected black man is trying to change things in his culture. He is acting as a motivator for what is positive, telling black people to be responsible for what they are creating and to not be victims. That is a good influence, but not sufficient. A complete program, perhaps with good incentives of some sort, might help black people (or any minority or less educated person) to fully understand, to fully see that there are reasons and ways to do something differently, to see the benefits, to decide which way to go.
A young black or Hispanic or white, whatever will act in the manner taught to him in a culture that is not highly progressive in nature. It is not the "fault" of the culture for being less aware, as that culture is perpetually handed down from the previous generation - and there are massive influences to continue the status quo.
Only by great, deeper teachings can they progress to anything different - and lower dramatically the chance of having useless lives or being in prison.
For all of us, teaching emotional intelligence earlier in school can make a huge difference. For anybody only exposed to 'the 'hood', there needs to be exposure to other different things, people, and opportunities. Even going to a Tony Robbins workshop/seminar could make a difference.
Setting up neighborhood sections where there are special programs, incentives, scholarships, and materials made available to improve the neighborhood
Though of normal intelligence, minorities and underprivileged people will often not profit from education simply because they do not value it nor see how it will help their lives. This results in poor attendance and definitely motivation problems.
The type of education provided by the now famous Marva Collins (see the movie on her) is what we want to see. Or Bill Strickland (see his presentation on TED.com).
The "Minority Education 'Problem'" can only be solved by changing the foundation of beliefs from that of the culture to a more realistic set and part of that is by exposing the children (and the adults, where feasible) to different cultures, ideas, places, education, emotional and behavior alternatives.
And, I think, this needs to be accomplished very rapidly. The only way I can think of off the top of my head right now is to set up videos and lessons on computer that carry the kids through the learning of new values and character and providing massive incentives (and of course access to the computers) to go through the "life education" series, plus expose a fair number of them to such new ideas and perspectives as would be provided by Tony Robbins, the Landmark Forum, and other impactful courses/workshops.