Watch CBS News

Report from National Urban League finds continued economic disparities among Black Americans

National Urban League president on new report
National Urban League President Marc Morial talks "State of Black America" report 05:21

Nearly six decades after the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and national origin, the 2024 State of Black America report assigns a score of just below 76% to the current level of equality between Black and White Americans — a figure indicating that, while progress has been made, significant disparities remain, according to Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. 

Morial said the National Urban League's report evaluates data that includes unemployment, death rates, health insurance coverage and economic indicators. The findings suggest that Black Americans earn significantly less than White people, with a median family income of $45,000 compared to $75,000 for Whites.

"At that rate, we're 180 years away from parity," said Morial, who is former mayor of New Orleans.

Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Morial said that while "there are those who push for progress, there have also been those who pushed against progress, witnessed today in over 1,000 bills that have been introduced in state legislatures to make it more difficult to vote."

Morial said cited challenges to diversity and inclusion initiatives as examples of resistance to equality.

"I mean, there is a resistance movement to the kinds of change that the nation needs," Morial said. "And there was one in 1964. And there's one in 2024, and it's intensified."

Morial called for action to accelerate the closing of the racial gap, emphasizing the need for unrestricted access to voting and economic reforms to address poverty and wealth disparities. He also highlighted the need to have support for children, such as the expired child tax credit that Morial said cut in half child poverty rates in its brief time period.

"What's dramatic is that the Civil Rights Act of '64, the Voting Rights Act of '65, the Great Society programs in the middle 1960s, probably cut the American poverty rate in half in a 15-year period," Morial said. "So can we? Yes, there are ways."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.