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Since Obama took office, blacks more upbeat about prospects

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Jim Young/Reuters

(Read caption) President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, Tuesday.

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As Barack Obama finishes his first year in office, a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that black Americans' views on their progress in America have improved more dramatically than at any time in the past 25 years.

“The poll finds an upbeat set of black views on a wide range of matters, including race relations, local community satisfaction and expectations for future black progress,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, in a statement. On the less hopeful front, Mr. Kohut noted, “most blacks still have doubts about the basic racial fairness of American society.”

Racial controversy involving Reid

The survey’s release coincides with a controversy over racially tinged comments that Senate majority leader Harry Reid made about Mr. Obama, which are quoted in a new book about the 2008 presidential campaign. Senator Reid has apologized for saying that candidate Obama’s chances for election were improved because he was a “light-skinned” African-American who did not speak with a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Obama has accepted Reid’s apology, but prominent Republicans are calling for Reid to resign.

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