Unfortunately, it took 44 years

In 1964, a BBC interviewer asked Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., if he thought there would be a “Negro president” in forty years. Here’s a partial transcript of King’s reply:

“Well, let me say first, to make it perfectly clear, that there are Negroes who are presently qualified to be president of the United States; and many who are qualified in terms of integrity, in terms of vision, in terms of leadership ability. But we do know there are certain problems and prejudices and mores in our society which would make it difficult now. However, I am very optimistic about the future. Frankly, I have seen certain changes in the United States over the last two years that surprise me…. So on the basis of this, I think we may be able to get a Negro president in less than forty years….”

It took longer than forty years, of course. But King could hardly have foreseen the overwhelming re-segregation of the United States, and the carefully concealed increase in systemic racism, during the Reagan and Bush years. Link to the BBC video clip.