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Equality Report Card
How is the U.S. scoring on equality for African Americans? Take a look at the grades given by CNN's guest experts in four categories and then tell us how you think the nation is doing by grading it in the same areas.

Political representation Business ownership/leaders Strides in education Portrayal in arts/entertainment/media

Joseph Lowery
Civil rights activist
I*
*Incomplete. We've started but now we've got to finish [in all areas].
I*
I*
I*

Henry Louis Gates
Scholar, writer, cultural critic
A
B-
C
A-

Felicia Palmer
SOHH.com founder
C+
C+
C
B

Debra Lee
CEO, BET Networks
B
C
D
B-

Keith Knight
Cartoonist
C
It's cool that there seems to be a legitimate African-American candidate for president. But then you read that less than... MORE
C
I'd like to see more of the spotlight put on blacks making it in roles other than sports and music. There are a couple... MORE
D-
Education in America is an abomination. We are regressing. It's more segregated than ever. Can you... MORE
D
I wanna slap Maury Povich across his smug-assed face. That cheap purveyor of black baby-mama drama... MORE
YOU DECIDE!
Select a grade in each category then click SUBMIT


Joseph Lowery
Called the dean of the civil rights movement, Joseph Lowery has played a major role in the nation's struggle since the 1950s and also protested apartheid in South Africa. He helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in which he held leadership roles for decades. Today, he continues to campaign for important issues such as black voter registration and AIDS education. He is the recipient of an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award and the Martin Luther King Center Peace Award.

Henry Louis Gates
Henry Louis Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he also serves as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Once voted one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans," he is also writer and producer of the PBS television series "African American Lives," which uses genealogy and science to explore African American history. His latest book, "Finding Oprah's Roots, Finding Your Own," was published in January 2007.

Felicia Palmer
Felicia Palmer is the co-founder of SOHH.com, one of the most popular Web sites dedicated to the news, music, competition, blogs and community of hip hop. The Cornell University graduate and former manager for Essence magazine's Web site started the now 11-year-old SOHH.com (Support Online Hip Hop) to fuel the need for hip-hop information in cyberspace.

Debra Lee
As chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee oversees one of the world’s most influential media and entertainment companies. The Harvard Law School graduate first worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., before starting her career with BET in 1986. Lee is also a member of several boards of directors including for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Girls Inc., National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center’s Community & Friends Board.

Keith Knight
An award-winning cartoonist, Keith Knight pens two weekly comic strips, the "K Chronicles" and "(th)ink." His work appears in alternative, ethnic, political and college newspapers across the country and uses humor and satire to cover topics such as politics and race. Knight, a regular contributor to Mad Magazine and ESPN the Magazine, also narrates the Bay Area artist documentary TV show, "Spark." His latest book, "Are We Feeling Safer Yet?," was published in January 2007.

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