My Journal Courier, August 29, 2023, Commentary: We still have a dream — Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chuck Collins
It’s now been 60 years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
There are important signs of progress to mark. The unthinkably high rate of Black poverty has diminished since King’s time, falling from 51% in 1963 to 20% by 2021. But with one in five Black Americans still living in poverty — and one in 12 whites — it’s hardly a moment to pop the champagne bottle.
For example, the Black/white income gap has barely narrowed at all. In 1967, African Americans earned 58 cents for every dollar earned by whites. By 2021, that had risen to just 62 cents on the dollar. At this rate of progress, it would take Black households 513 years to reach income parity with their white counterparts.
Sixty years after bouncing the check, it is time to fulfill America’s promise with a bold response.