Change We Can Believe in? How have African Americans economically advanced since the time of Dr. King? In terms of median family income, the disparity between Blacks and whites has actually increased.
Median Household Wealth The Black-white economic divide is most dramatically seen when it comes to wealth. In 1983 Median Household wealth for Blacks in 2004 dollars was $5,500 and for whites was $82,900 so Blacks had 7% of the wealth of whites. In 2007, before the recession, Blacks had $17,100 dollars in household wealth compared to $170,400 in wealth by whites, Blacks had 10% of the wealth of whites.
Segregation in the New Millennium According to “Beyond Black and White,” a 2002 US Census Bureau report, Blacks are the most segregated racial group in the United States . The report highlights that “holding other factors constant, while Asian and Hispanics composition does not matter to whites buying a home, Blacks neighborhood composition does.” White Americans’ preference to avoid living in areas that are more than 10% Black causes a substantial decrease in demand for Black-owned homes , leading to a decline in the value of homes owned by African Americans . At the same time, this bias artificially increases the demand for and value of homes located in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods.
Poverty Rates Poverty rates for African Americans have gone down since the time of Dr. King, but still remain remarkably high. In 2008, over a third of Black children lived in poverty and 25% of all African Americans were in poverty.
Many Faces of Black Struggle The civil rights movement didn’t begin or end with King. The Civil Rights Movement was one phase of a larger struggle to ensure Blacks receive equal protection under US Law. King and the civil rights movement are pieces of a centuries old struggle for Black advancement in this country.