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CBS News poll finds most Black Americans see more opportunities than parents but feel more needs to be done

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Black Americans see more opportunity today than past generations but feel more still needs to be done. 

Americans generally agree racism remains a problem, but differences over its extent and what should be done still bring some division.

Black Americans believe their opportunities to succeed in life are better than those in their parents' generation, but most feel efforts to promote racial diversity and equality in the U.S. are not going far enough. Black Americans are nearly unanimous in their view that racism remains a problem in the U.S. today, including three in four who call it a major problem.

White Americans are more inclined to think diversity and equality efforts are going too far. They overwhelmingly believe racism was a problem in America's past, but they are far less likely than Black Americans to see it as a major problem today. 


Not enough Black representation

Black Americans think racial diversity falls short in key sectors of society. Big majorities think there should be more Black representation in the areas of business and political leadership. Even Black Americans who feel there has been a lot of progress in getting rid of discrimination think Black people don't have enough influence and representation in these fields. 

There is relatively more satisfaction in the representation of Black people in pop culture, sports and entertainment.


Is there optimism?

While Black Americans see obstacles, most feel good about their opportunities relative to their parents. 

Majorities of Black Americans across gender, age groups and education levels believe their opportunities to succeed in life today are better than their parents' generation, and the younger generation feels more hopeful about America's future. 

Black Americans under age 45 think there has been more progress in getting rid of racial discrimination, compared to those who are older. They also have a more optimistic outlook about America generally — most think America's best days are in its future, not in its past.


In assessing diversity and racism, partisanship divides White Americans

On many of these matters concerning race, political partisanship divides the opinions of White Americans. White Democrats tend to be more closely aligned with those of Black Americans. 

White Democrats feel racism is a major problem today and think that there needs to be more Black representation in business and politics. White Republicans are more inclined to see racism today as a minor problem than a major one. They largely feel there is adequate Black representation in key fields in U.S. society, and that efforts to promote racial diversity and equality in the U.S. have gone too far. 


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,602 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 24-30, 2024. Respondents were selected to be representative of adults nationwide with an oversample of African-American respondents included, and the final sample as reported was weighted to be representative of adults nationwide according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error for the total sample is ±2.6 points. The margin of error for the sample of African Americans is ±5.7 points.


cbsnews_20240131_1 (1) by CBS News Politics on Scribd
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