How Technology Affects Our Faca-to-Face Connection with People

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The Unrealized American Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968. BY DEDRICK MUHAMMAD
PROGRAM ON INEQUALITY AND THE COMMON GOOD
A PROJECT OF THE INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES
APRIL 2008
40 YEA RS LAT E R:
Dedrick Muhammad is the Senior Organizer and Research Associate for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies. Dedrick’s special area of focus is the domestic racial wealth divide, particularly that between African Americans and white Americans. He co-authored “State of The Dream” reports on the racial wealth divide in 2004, 2005, and 2008. He also co-authored a chapter in The Wealth Inequality Reader (Dollars and Sense, 2006). Dedrick was the former National Field Director for Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. He also was the Coordinator for the Racial Wealth Divide Project of United For A Fair Economy. He has been featured on Democracy Now, BET News, CSPAN, NPR, and many other radio and television shows. The Program on Inequality and the Common Good (ips-dc.org/inequality) focuses on the dangers that growing inequality pose for U.S. democracy, economic health and civic life. Institute for Policy Studies (ips-dc.org) strengthens social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials. Since 1963 it has empowered people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the United States, and the world. Research assistance: Chris Hartman

Editorial assistance: Chuck Collins
Contents
Preface ....................................................................................................................................................4 Key Findings .........................................................................................................................................5 Introduction: Where Are We?................................................................................................................6 Where Are We Going in Education? ....................................................................................................7 Where Are We Going in Wage Levels and Poverty? ............................................................................8 Where Are We Going in Income and Wealth?......................................................................................9 Where Are We Going in Asset Development? ................................................................................... 11 Where Are We Going in Social Challenges?....................................................................................... 12 The African American Dilemma ......................................................................................................... 13 Where Do We Go from Here: Making King’s Dream a Reality ....................................................... 14 Conclusion: 40 Years in the Wilderness ............................................................................................ 16 Chart Sources ...................................................................................................................................... 17 Endnotes.............................................................................................................................................. 18 40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream 4

Preface
When they saw him from a distance and before he came closer to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. And they said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer! Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"

– Genesis 37:33
“Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a...
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