This study explores attitudes and perceptions related to urban problems and race relations in 15 northern cities of the United States (Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, Milwaukee, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC). More specifically, it seeks to define the social and psychological characteristics and aspirations of the Black and White urban populations. Samples of Blacks and Whites were selected in each of the cities in early 1968. The study employed two questionnaire forms, one for Whites and one for Blacks, and two corresponding data files were generated. Attitudinal questions asked of the White and Black respondents measured their satisfaction with community services, their feelings about the effectiveness of government in solving urban problems, and their experience with police abuse. Additional questions about the respondent’s familiarity with and participation in antipoverty programs were included. Other questions centered on the respondent’s opinions about the 1967 riots: the main causes, the purpose, the major participating classes, and the effect of the riots on the Black cause. Respondents’ interracial relationships, their attitudes toward integration, and their perceptions of the hostility between the races were also investigated. White respondents were asked about their opinions on the use of governmental intervention as a solution for various problems of the Blacks, such as substandard schools, unemployment, and unfair housing practices. Respondent’s reactions to nonviolent and violent protests by Blacks, their acceptance of counter-rioting by Whites and their ideas concerning possible governmental action to prevent further rioting were elicited. Inquiries were made as to whether or not the respondent had given money to support or hinder the Black cause. Other items investigated respondents’ perceptions of racial discrimination in jobs, education, and housing, and their reactions to working under or living next door to a Black person. Black respondents were asked about their perceptions of discrimination in hiring, promotion, and housing, and general attitudes toward themselves and towards Blacks in general. The survey also investigated respondents’ past participation in civil rights organizations and in nonviolent and/or violent protests, their sympathy with rioters, and the likelihood of personal participation in a future riot. Other questions probed respondents’ attitudes toward various civil rights leaders along with their concurrence with statements concerning the meaning of “Black power.” Demographic variables include sex and age of the respondent, and the age and relationship to the respondent of each person in the household, as well as information about the number of persons in the household, their race, and the type of structure in which they lived. Additional demographic topics include the occupational and educational background of the respondent, of the respondent’s family head, and of the respondent’s father. The respondent’s family income and the amount of that income earned by the head of the family were obtained, and it was determined if any of the family income came from welfare, Social Security, or veteran’s benefits. This study also ascertained the place of birth of the respondent and respondent’s mother and father, in order to measure the degree of southern influence. Other questions investigated the respondent’s military background, religious preference, marital status, and family composition.
Unique variables include “respondent lives in suburb,” “respondent’s satisfaction with neighborhood parks,” and “respondent’s participation in riots or protests.”