WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans believe there has been significant progress in achieving Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality, though blacks are more skeptical, an AP-Ipsos poll found.
Racial integration has swept across much of American life and blacks have gained economic ground since the height of the civil rights movement. Two decades ago, the government established a federal holiday in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
On some measures such as annual income, blacks have closed the gap considerably with whites over the past few decades, census figures show. The progress for blacks may have stalled, however, and some even fear a possible backlash.
“We’ve made great progress over the last 50 years,” said Julian Bond, national chairman of the NAACP. “Progress has always been stop-and-start, and sometimes backup. We’re in a holding pattern right now.”