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GANNETT/DETROIT NEWS SURVEY ASKS: WHO SPEAKS FOR BLACK AMERICA?

 GANNETT/DETROIT NEWS SURVEY ASKS: WHO SPEAKS FOR BLACK AMERICA?
 DETROIT, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 1950s and 1960s, at the zenith of the movement for equality, black Americans turned to the civil rights organizations to express their needs and push their agenda for change.
 Due to the agitation, advocacy and vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Congress on Racial Equality, valuable rights were won. These are the groups that obtained for blacks the right to vote, sit at the front of the bus, use public restrooms, and attend previously segregated schools and live in the neighborhoods of their choice.
 But today, according to a landmark survey by The Detroit News and Gannett News Service, black Americans feel the groups that won historic rights for them are failing to meet their most pressing needs.
 Now, blacks say if the groups are to remain viable they must move beyond civil rights and develop an agenda that targets the immediate threats of drugs, crime, economic empowerment and deteriorating families.
 In a three-part series beginning Sunday, Feb. 23, The News explores:
 -- Where civil rights groups are succeeding and failing, the makeup of their membership, and their graying leadership.
 -- The next generation of leaders, the role of groups such as the Nation of Islam, and renegade branches of the traditional groups and leaders like New York's Al Sharpton.
 -- The black middle class at a crossroads, black women filling the void, and the young and disillusioned.
 -0- 2/21/92
 /CONTACT: Anne Musial of the Detroit Newspaper Agency, 313-223-4771/
 (GCI) CO: The Detroit News; Gannett News Service ST: Michigan IN: PUB SU:


ML -- DE016 -- 1433 02/21/92 14:06 EST
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Date:Feb 21, 1992
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