Survey shows African Americans have lost faith in big government

The African-American community still strongly believes in heroes and traditional religious values but has lost faith in the federal government and in its own economic future , according to the latest survey released by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and Scripps Howard News Service.

The four-year study of 837 African Americans was released in mid-January to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The study, based on eight surveys from 1994 through 1997, was co-authored by Distinguished Professor of Journalism Guido Stempel III and Thomas Hargrove of Scripps Howard.

Fifty-four percent of African Americans surveyed believe the federal government i s "making your life worse," 51 percent agreed the United States is "headed the wrong way," and 55 percent "believe in conspiracies," including that the federal government allows cocaine to be sold in inner-city neighborhoods. The survey found that the majority of African Americans had a strong religious faith.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Orange County (Calif.) Register and the Sunday Detroit News and Free Press were among newspapers that ran stories about the study.

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