BLACK ON BLACK

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Most blacks continue to believe that affirmative action policies are needed in schools and the workplace. In a 1997 CBS News/New York Times poll, 77 percent of blacks said it was very important for companies to have a racially diverse workforce, compared with 32 percent of white Americans. Similarly, 76 percent of blacks said it was very important for colleges to have a racially diverse student body, versus 36 percent of whites.

In a 2001 National Urban League poll of 800 black adults, 87 percent of the respondents said that affirmative action in higher education and employment was still necessary, up from 83 percent in 2000. This result is not surprising, considering that 68 percent of those polled said affirmative action played a very or somewhat important role in their own education and employment. In this poll, the term “affirmative action� was not explained, and the incendiary word “quota� wasn't mentioned at all.

THE RIGHT TO LEARN

More than two-thirds of black Americans say affirmative action played an important role in their educational or employment experience.

FAVOR OPPOSE DON'T KNOW
Do you favor or oppose permitting parents to choose which public school they send their children to? 82% 13% 5%
BETTER WORSE SAME
Over the next 5 years, do you think the quality of the public schools in your community will get better, get worse or stay about the same? 37% 25% 33%
VERY IMPORTANT SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT
How important a role did affirmative action play in your own educational or employment experience? 39% 29% 28%
YES NO DON'T KNOW
Do you think there is still a need for affirmative action programs in higher education and places of employment? 87% 8% 5%
Source: National Urban League. 2001
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