Perceptions of racial discrimination, naturally, spike among blacks who've personally experienced it, particularly if they've experienced it in multiple areas. These African-Americans are much more likely to say racism is a big problem, to think blacks in their community are subject to racism and to be skeptical that blacks will achieve equality.
EQUALITY – There are positive views: While just 35 percent of Americans believe blacks have achieved racial equality, an additional 38 percent think they will achieve it soon – a total of 73 percent. (Most of the rest think it'll happen, but not in their lifetime.)
Among blacks only, moreover, a total of 56 percent think they have achieved equality or will soon – 20 and 36 percent, respectively. And just 18 percent think it'll never happen.
Moreover, in the ABC poll earlier this month, 55 percent of blacks said Obama's election made them more proud to be an American. And 65 percent of all Americans, equal numbers of blacks and whites alike, saw his election as a sign of progress for all blacks – a road signposted by the achievements of Lincoln, King and now by Obama.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Jan. 13-16, 2009, among a random national sample of 1,079 adults, including landline and cell-only respondents, with an oversample of African-Americans (weighted to their correct share of the population) for a total of 204 black respondents. Results for the full sample have a 3-point error margin; for blacks, 7 points. Click here for a detailed description of sampling error. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, PA.