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Slavery’s Legacy Still Negatively Affects Black Americans, Majority Says

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. adults say slavery’s legacy continues to negatively impact black Americans “a great deal” or “a fair amount,” according to a Pew Research Center data analysis published June 17.

Responses varied significantly by race and political affiliation.

Black respondents were most likely to say the legacy of slavery affects the position of black Americans in society “a great deal” or “a fair amount” at 84%, compared to 66% of Asian Americans, 67% of Hispanics and 58% of whites.

While 79% of Democrats affirmed this position, only 43% of Republicans did so. Republicans were more than four times more likely than Democrats to respond “not at all” when asked about slavery’s continued impact (by a 29% to 7% margin).

Similar trends were seen in responses to a question about whether the U.S. has done enough in seeking to provide equal rights for blacks.

Among black respondents, 78% said the nation has “not gone far enough,” compared to 48% of Hispanic and 38% of white respondents.

Democratic respondents were three times as likely as Republicans to affirm this view (by a 66% to 18% margin).

Only 6% of blacks said the nation has gone “too far,” while 9% of Hispanics and 19% of whites took this position.

Republicans were nearly six times more likely than Democrats to say the country has gone “too far” in working for equal rights for blacks (by a 28% to 5% margin).

The full analysis is available here, which draws on responses from Pew’s “Race in America 2019” report published in April.