Survey Asks Black Americans What Is Needed to Overcome Racial Inequality

A new study from the Pew Research Center examines what Black Americans say is needed to overcome racial inequality in the United States. More than six-in-ten Black adults (63 percent) say voting is an extremely or very effective strategy for Black progress. Black Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more likely than Black Republicans and Republican leaners to say voting is an extremely or very effective tactic for Black progress (68 percent vs. 46 percent).

However, only 42 percent of African Americans say protesting is a potent strategy for Black progress. Democrats are more likely than their Republican peers to believe protesting can help achieve Black progress. Older Blacks are more likely than young African Americans to favor protesting.

A majority of African Americans say that supporting Black businesses can help achieve racial equality. Nearly 40 percent of Black adults say having all businesses in Black neighborhoods be owned by Black people would be an extremely or very effective strategy. Smaller shares say the same about establishing a national Black political party (31 percent) and having all the elected officials governing Black neighborhoods be Black (27 percent).

Over the past several years, 39 percent of African Americans believe the Black Lives Matter movement has done the most to move the nation toward great equality. Some 17 percent say the NCAAP has done the most and 13 percent say Black churches and religious organizations. Only 6 percent of African Americans adults think the Congressional Black Caucus has done the most for racial equality.

A majority of African American adults agree that the prison system needs to be “completely overhauled” in order to achieve racial equality. Another 33 percent of Black adults say that major changes are needed in prison reform. Only 11 percent of African American adults say no or only minor changes are needed.

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