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National ALCU Leader Details Lack Of Progress Toward Racial Justice

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 14 Oct 2013 01:40pm | comments
Dennis Parker

The director of the National ACLU's Racial Justice Program says Mississippi and the nation has a long way to go to close the gap between black and white Americans. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports that many stark divisions remain even 50 years after the civil rights march on Washington.

Racial Justice director Dennis Parker says while much has improved in American life, African-Americans are still facing tremendous educational, economic, and health barriers compared to whites.

For example, Parker says African Americans are as likely now to own a home as they were in 1963, up to 75-percent live in low opportunity areas and  nearly half of all black kids live in areas of concentrated poverty.

"The wealth disparities are actually getting worse. Meaning that people of color compared to white families have less wealth. And that has really profound impacts on the experience of families now but also what is going to happen going forward. And the things that cause that are really complicated," Parker said.

Parker says state policy makers should focus on social mobility to decrease the gap.

While Parker says many of the statistic are challenging, living standards have improved since 1963 and he believes the U-S can continue move toward greater equality.


Dennis Parker



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