50 years later, how close is the US to King’s dream?

50 years later, how close is the US to King’s dream?

Martin_Luther_KingA half-century after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most famous speech, how close is the United States to realizing his dream of racial equality?

Here are nine key measures of the progress — or lack thereof.

Wages: Still a struggle

1960s: Forty percent of black Americans lived in poverty, according to 1966 Census data, and raising the minimum wage was a central component for organizers of the March on Washington. They called for a national minimum hourly wage the equivalent of at least $13 in today’s dollars.

Today: In 2011, almost a third of black Americans lived below the poverty level – $23,550 for a family of four, according to the most recent Census data. The average minimum wage in America is $7.25, and this summer fast food workers, which include many black workers, are protesting low wages.

Unemployment: Still a struggle

1960s: Black Americans were twice as likely to be unemployed than white Americans. During the March on Washington, nearly 11 percent of black Americans were unemployed, compared to 5 percent of whites.

Today: The black unemployment rate sits at 13.1 percent — the same as the national rate was during the Great Depression — while white Americans have a 6.7 percent unemployment rate.

Income: Still a struggle

1960s: In 1967, black Americans had the lowest median annual income of all Americans, at about $25,000 (adjusted to 2011 dollars). The median black family of three earned about 55 percent of what a comparable white family earned.

Today: In 2011, according to Census data, the median income for black Americans still ranks at the bottom at $32,000, and a black family of three earns about 59 percent of what a comparable white family …Read full story here: http://www.elpasotimes.com/politics-national/2013/08/50-years-later-how-close-is-the-us-to-kings-dream/

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