Martin Luther King's Dream Verses the Reality
If King were alive today, what aspects of American society would he feel had become a part of his "dream?" What would he see as being outside the scope of his dream? What suggestions do you think he would make to improve relations between whites and blacks?

Martin Luther King's Dream Verses the Reality

Dr. Martin Luther King stated that he had a dream and that one day he hoped his children would not be judged by their skin color but the "contents of their character." After looking through statistics, it is hard to say that his dream has fully been reached based on the increasing income gap between whites and blacks over the years.

We can not yet say that Martin Luther King's Dream has been fulfilled until the gap between white and black income closes in. In 1970 the percentage of blacks receiving les than $5,000 a year was 9.6% compared to the 3.1% of whites receiving the same pay. The percent of blacks in 1986 receiving less than $5,000 was 14% and 3.5% of whites. The percentage of blacks in poverty has increased compared to the percentage of whites which has remained constant. The difference in the average incomes between whites and blacks was approximately $3,000 in 1968. The gap in 1986 was approximately $23,000. It appears, then, that incomes are growing further apart as time goes on. Instead of Martin Luther King's dream becoming a reality, it is falling from realization in American society.

Coretta King said, "We must challenge government, business, and labor to create a social contract to fulfill the dream of a nation free from poverty and deprivation, a nation where every willing worker can find a job at a decent wage," This idea has not come true. There were 15% more blacks than whites that didn't have jobs in 1986. Also 7.7% more whites than to blacks have jobs of executive, administrative and managing position. These inequalities show that the dream has not yet been fulfilled.

Although parts of Kings dreams have not come true, parts of his dream have. A part of his dream that has come true is integration of blacks in government. From a study in 1987, blacks have been gaining popularity in government. Only 226 black officials obtained a position in 1970, but in 1987 nearly 730 blacks were in office. There were 23 representatives in federal congress, 303 mayors, 89 state senators, and 311 state representatives. Even though blacks and whites are integrated, whites still out number blacks 9:1.

In conclusion we feel that in certain areas Martin Luther King's dream did not come true to it's full extent. Areas such as employment and income for blacks are places where improvement are needed.

Megan C.
Nick F.
Jessica L.

Resouces: Jet Jan. 20 1992 pgs 12- 18
Social Problems Vol. 20 pg 34
Facing History and Ourselves pgs538-542

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