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  • Ryan Wittler

Most Black Americans Say the Increased Attention on Racial Inequality Hasn’t Improved Their Lives


A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows 65% of Black adults in the U.S. say the increased national attention given to racial inequality since 2020 has not led to changes that improve Black people’s lives.

  • The newly released findings come from a survey conducted October 4-17 last year.

Study highlights:

The present survey’s findings represent a reversal from September 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, when Pew found 56% of Black Americans thought the increased national attention on racial inequality would lead to changes that improve their lives.

  • The September 2020 survey also found 50% of Black Americans thought the attention would lead to major policy changes addressing racial inequality.

The present survey found 44% of Black adults think equality for Black Americans is unlikely to ever be achieved, while 38% say it’s somewhat likely and just 13% say it’s very likely.

  • Majorities also say racism (63%), police brutality (60%), and economic inequality (54%) are “extremely” big problems for Black people living in the U.S.

  • Over three-quarters (79%) report occasionally or frequently experiencing unfair treatment because of their race.

Why it matters:

Nearly nine-in-ten Black Americans say multiple aspects of the criminal justice system need major change, including the prison system (87%), policing (87%), and the courts and judicial process (86%).

  • Roughly half go so far as to say the prison system (54%), policing (49%), and the courts (48%) need to be completely rebuilt.

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