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Poll: African-Americans much more upbeat in Obama era

WASHINGTON — Despite a recession that’s disproportionately affected their community, African-Americans are dramatically more upbeat about their progress in this country than at any time during the past quarter century, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first African-American president is credited for the increased optimism that’s reflected in a range of issues, including race relations and expectations for further African-American progress.

“It’s the politics of expectations,” said Ronald Walters, a retired University of Maryland political science professor. “It’s having an African-American president and the hope that, when all is said and done, he will help (African-Americans). Those of us who have been critical of him for things he hasn’t done in the first year, even we expect he will do something.”

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