BLACK VOICES

Poll Shows Why Black Lives Matter Activists Should Be Proud

The survey shows a big jump in number of people who think more needs to be done for equal rights.

Nearly one year after Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a new poll shows a growing number of people believe there's much to be done before black lives will be valued as much as others.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe changes are needed to give African-Americans equal rights, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Wednesday.

That's up from 46 percent in a Pew poll just last year, before Brown was killed by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, setting off a series of demonstrations and fueling the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The poll saw increases in the number of blacks, whites and Hispanics who felt more changes were needed. In 2014, only 39 percent of whites said more needed to be done. In 2015, that number jumped to 53 percent. For blacks, the numbers increased from 79 percent to 86 percent, and for Hispanics, 54 percent to 70 percent.

Pew surveyed 2,002 adults between July 14 and July 20, using live interviewers to reach both landlines and cell phones.

A Washington Post survey, released Wednesday, asked the same question as the Pew Research Center and got very similar results.

The Pew poll comes after a year of heightened Black Lives Matter activism, including numerous rallies, die-ins and acts of civil disobedience. A Gallup poll released Tuesday showed comparable results.

The survey found that between 2013 and 2015, Americans' satisfaction with the way blacks are treated plummeted, from 62 percent to 49 percent. The poll found dips amongst blacks, whites and Hispanics.

Another poll released by The Associated Press on Wednesday showed that half of blacks say police have treated them unfairly.

That survey showed a stark racial divide between blacks, 66 percent of whom said they only sometimes, rarely or never trust the police to do right by them, and whites, 72 percent of whom said they always or often trust police to do the right thing.

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