After the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination sparked riots across the U.S., President Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned a report to examine the roots of unrest in black communities. The primary cause? “White racism” leading to discrimination in unemployment, education and housing, the report found.
Some 50 years later, despite milestones including the election of America’s first black president, the economic landscape has barely changed for black Americans, a new report released this week by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal, nonprofit Washington, D.C., think tank, found.
“In almost all areas, it is about the same, and in other areas there is actually lost ground,” said Valerie Wilson, director of the EPI’s program on race, ethnicity and the economy and an author of the study. “We have not seen nearly as much progress in economic outcomes as we might expect given the gains in other outcomes.”