CBS: Civil Rights 50 Years Later

July 24, 2014

A conversation on the continuing struggle for equal rights with Microsoft Pulse.


CBS News: 50 Years Later, Civil Rights used Pulse (formerly known as Bing Pulse) live from the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan with Bob Schieffer moderating this historic evening. The audience included relatives of civil rights workers killed in Mississippi, noted civil rights activists, and celebrities. The dynamic dialogue was enhanced by interesting insights coming out of the audience participation in the event through Pulse.

Viewers could characterize how they felt about any specific moment of point they heard by voting on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The live count of the number of pulses were visible on and on the Smithsonian Channel. The audience was also polled four times throughout the event, allowing for in-depth analysis to be culled.


Pulse event participants self-identified on an anonymous basis, and their responses were aggregated to extract the following insights:

  • Men feel less defined by their race, gender and sexual preference than women
  • People overall disagreed that our grandchildren will be free of discrimination
  • Younger members of the audience tend to believe race will become less important to their grandchildren
  • Just over half of viewers believe that race relations have worsened since Obama was elected
  • The highest voting intensity was during a clip of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech, showing that his voice still moves and resonates with people of all ages
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