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Obama’s legacy on race questioned

CHICAGO, Illinois - President Barack Obama says race relations are better than they were 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

But recently the Urban League says the president missed opportunities to improve the lives of African American with more economic development in urban areas, less gun violence, and a reduction  in the foreclosure rate and bank closure rate in low income neighborhoods.

Supporters say much more could have been accomplished but that doesn't diminish the election results from 2008.

"This is the end of the Presidency of the 44th President of me seeing a Black President that I didn't think I'd see in my lifetime," said supporter Gina LaMar.

President Barack Obama was elected on a campaign of hope and change.  But even he says the lofty expectations couldn't meet reality.

"After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America.  And such a vision, however well intended was never realistic," the President admitted during his Farewell Address at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Closer to home, there's agreement.

"My prayer, my desire, my aim is 'I don't want to go back, I want to move forward'," says newly re-elected Davenport NAACP President Vera Kelly.

Though Kelly wants to move forward, she does say there are some troubling racial divides here in the present.

"In this day in time, you know, it's better," she says.

"But then you have these people that still got that mentality that you are lower than me and you can't do what I do.  Oh yes I can."

In a nod to November's election results, President Obama called on Black America to look outside its interests as well, to put their feet in the shoes of not only immigrants, the rural poor, and transgender Americans.

"But also the Middle Aged white guy who in the outside may seem to have all the advantages, but has seen his world upended by economic, and cultural, and technological change."

These supporters also believe the Obama legacy on race will live on... showing a strong, loving, successful African American family.  And being an example to future generations of Black men.

"It's shown hope for African American boys to be able to see different things," says LaMar.

"I think there's a lot of potential change that has happened."

The American people don't seem to share the President's view that race relations have improved.

The last major survey, released in October by CNN found that 54% of Americans believe race relations have worsened over the past eight years.