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King’s Dream and Obama Presidency

Barack Obama accepted the nomination for the presidency on a remarkable date: it was the anniversary of Martin Luther King delivering his famous speech that promoted black people’s rights and the equality of all races (Lindert & Williamson, 2016). This coincidence made a lot of people believe that King’s dream would finally be realized.

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Indeed, the selection of an African American president gave hope that the nation left its racial prejudice behind. Yet, the leaders of the black movement were not satisfied with Obama’s approach to the problem. Most of them regarded the President as embarrassingly anemic and inconsistent in race issues (Lindert & Williamson, 2016).

What are the reasons then, that after so many years, we still have to admit that King’s promises cannot be fully realized? Here are some of them (Lindert & Williamson, 2016):

  1. first and foremost, the economic gap between blacks and whites is still wide: the average African-American family earns app. 60% of the white families’ income;
  2. 15% of African Americans live in poverty;
  3. the unemployment rate is twice as high as among whites;
  4. the average black household possesses eight times fewer assets than the average white family;
  5. access to health care is still unequal.

Yet, there are still come achievements in promoting equality (Lindert & Williamson, 2016):

  1. the infant mortality rate has fallen to 11.42 deaths per 1,000 babies;
  2. 85% of blacks receive education;
  3. racial segregation has been outlawed;
  4. African Americans can now occupy positions of power and play significant roles in large-scale businesses.

All these improvements give us hope that the realization of King’s dream is still to come, no matter how long the path to success may seem.


Lindert, P. H., & Williamson, J. G. (2016). Unequal gains: American growth and inequality since 1700. Juncture, 22(4), 276-283.

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