Social and economic gaps between whites and blacks persist in the United States despite an atmosphere that led to the election of President Obama, an Urban League report said.
Despite hope ushered in by President Obama's election, racial divides persist, a report says.
Blacks remain twice as likely to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be imprisoned compared with whites, according to the group's annual State of Black America report issued in March.
The report urges Obama to tackle the critical challenges of the times, including unemployment, home foreclosures, education and an overhaul of health care.
"As the Obama administration ushers in a new era of hope, change, and to some extent, unity for this nation, many are asking whether racial barriers have now been erased in America," the report said. "Are discrimination, division and inequality antiquated relics of the past? For a quick answer to that question, one has but to review some of the sobering statistics."
The Urban League's equality index shows the status of blacks at 71 percent that of whites. It said that economics "remains the area with the greatest degree of inequality," with social justice, health and education following.
"The analysis shows that while important gains were made, both for blacks and whites, in each of these areas during the 1990s expansion, there was actually a loss of ground in median household income, poverty and home ownership during the 2001-2007 expansion, known as the jobless recovery," the report's executive summary said.