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Posted:  |  Updated: 11/11/13 EST

March On Washington 50th Anniversary: How Much Has Black Life Really Changed Since 1963? (INFOGRAPHIC)

With Jim Crow segregation, voting discrimination and rampant joblessness not yet in rear view, 1963 was a tough time to be black in America.

In January, Alabama governor George C. Wallace would defiantly proclaim in his inaugural speech: "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!," sending a wave of intolerance across the south that would lead to the death of four young girls at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church and the shooting death of civil rights activist Medgar Evers at his home in Jackson, Mississippi later that year.

And though there were bright spots -- African-American student Harvey Gantt entering Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration, and James Meredith becoming the first black person to graduate from Ole Miss -- it would be a while before true change would come (as soul singer Sam Cooke's 1963-inspired hit proclaimed).

But has it?

By some estimates, no, with African Americans only barely better off in the war on poverty and imprisonment that pervades the news today. By other summations, the black community is leaps and bounds beyond where it was back in 1963.

As we acknowledge the anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington For Jobs & Freedom, a rally with parallel issues in mind, the Huffington Post has laid out a look at black life then and now to help you decide.

Additional reporting by Rhonesha Byng.

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  • March on Washington 1963

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., center left with arms raised, marches along Constitution Avenue with other civil rights protestors carrying placards, from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Next Wednesday, the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, will stand near the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. stood 50 years ago, a living symbol of the racial progress King dreamed about, and enunciate where he believes this nation should be headed. (AP Photo, File)

  • March on Washington 1963

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo shows civil rights demonstrators gather at the Washington Monument grounds before noon, before marching to the Lincoln Memorial, seen in the far background at right, where the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will end with a speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., now known as the "I Have A Dream" speech. Next Wednesday, the nation’s first black president will stand near the spot where King stood 50 years ago, a living symbol of the racial progress King dreamed about, and enunciate where he believes this nation should be headed. (AP Photo, File)

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    FILE - This Aug. 28, 1963, file photo shows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledging the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington. Next Wednesday, the nation’s first black president will stand near the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. stood 50 years ago, a living symbol of the racial progress King dreamed about, and enunciate where he believes this nation should be headed. (AP Photo/File)

  • March on Washington 1963

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., center front, marches for civil rights, arms linked in a line of men, in the March on Washington. It wasn’t until the 1960s civil rights movement, exemplified by the historic march, that new laws began strengthening the federal role in civil right protection. Now, the Justice Department is expected to pursue civil rights prosecutions. But in many cases of inflamed racial passions, federal prosecutors don’t find the evidence needed to support civil rights charges. (AP Photo, File)

  • Davis Wilkins Civil Rights March 1963

    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Sammy Davis, Jr., actor and performer, with Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP

  • Heston Baldwin Brando Civil Rights March 1963 2 crop

    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Author James Baldwin with actors Marlon Brando and Charlton Heston., 08/28/1963: ...

  • Poitier Belafonte Heston Civil Rights March 1963

    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Actors Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Charlton Heston., 08/28/1963: Large image (72207 ...

  • Harry Belafonte at 1963 March on Washington

    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Actor Harry Belafonte., 08/28/1963: Image(s) associated with the title: Large image (85089 ...

  • Sammy Davis Jr.

    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Actor Sammy Davis, Jr. among the crowd., 08/28/1963: Large image (110186 Bytes): ...

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