Progress in Racial Equality

While several communities in our area saw huge turnouts in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, a new survey finds blacks are more likely to celebrate the holiday. Those polls also show blacks aren't as gung-ho about progress made in racial equality.

Martin Luther King, Jr. probably couldn't script the scene of a Jamaican, Filipino, African, Australian, Dutch, black, white together at one table sharing lunch.

Claudea Schoon and Angela Ferkiak, Dutch exchange students, said, "In the Netherlands, this is a common thing. You see many people of many different colors around a table as friends. America has to progress a little bit more than what we're used to. This is normal for us."

A new AP ipsos poll finds that three-fourths of Americans say there has been significant progress toward equality. However, many African-Americans doubt the extent of progress.

Sherrise Rowe, a Jamaican American, said, "I have noticed that there are racial issues. Most of my background is in retail management and for a very long time I was the only manager in retail with the company that I worked with, black manager.”

Many citizens say racial inequality still exists when it comes to areas such as income, housing and education.

Kareem Spratling, an FSU Law School student, said, "For instance, though I'm allowed in the law school there are very few African-American males in the law school."

James Argento, also an FSU Law School student, added, "I think as whites we need to be more open to helping our brothers and sisters of color, whether it be Latino or African-American, in trying to reach for the stars."

While Dr. King's dream of racial harmony exists at this table, Claudia and Angela say, "I think he would be quite glad to see all different races sitting here."

This melting pot says it hopes it continues to spread across the nation.