Bias & discrimination towards Black people

Learn about bias & discrimination that the Black community faces.

Public perceptions of bias and discrimination

Most Americans acknowledge that bias and discrimination are issues in this country. For example:
Multi-racial group of adults hugging and chatting
  1. A majority of all adults (56%) say being Black hurts people’s ability to get ahead at least a little. In contrast, 59% say being white helps people’s ability to get ahead.

  2. Most Americans (65%) say it has become more common for people to express racist views.

  3. Majorities of Black and white adults say Black people are treated less fair than whites in dealing with police and by the criminal justice system.

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Understand how bias and discrimination show up for the Black community

Most Americans believe that we have yet to achieve racial equality, however, White people are less likely than Black people to recognize or perceive discrimination:
White woman and Black woman posing with a "Stop Racism" sign
  1. In the workplace: 22% white vs. 64% Black

  2. In stores downtown or in the shopping mall: 21% white vs. 49% Black

  3. In dealing with the police, such as traffic incidents: 50% White vs. 84% Black

  4. In the courts: 43% white vs. 75% Black


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Perceptions of discrimination by race

Black woman holding one fist up in front of protest
  1. 31% of white persons think they have experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity compared to 83% of Black people.

  2. 78% of Black people feel others have acted suspicious of them because of their race/ethnicity, compared to 21% of white people.

  3. 68% of Black people have been subjected to slurs or jokes based on their race/ethnicity, compared to 32% of white people.

  4. 60% of Black people report having feared for their personal safety because of their race/ethnicity, compared to 29% of white people.

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Three Black men kneeling with their fists in the air

Racial injustice

Young Black children holding signs at Ferguson protest

Hate crimes directed at the Black community

More than 10,000 people reported that they were a victim of a hate crime in 2020. 61.9% of those people said they were targeted because of their race, ethnicity, or ancestry, the FBI reports.

Bias against African Americans made up the largest category of race-based hate crime incidents. A total of 56% of race-based hate crimes were motivated by anti-Black bias.
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