The black middle class is growing, but racial gaps in pay, home ownership, and prison sentencing persist. This year`s study by the National Urban League comes on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision and 40 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some specifics from the study: *Life expectancy for black Americans is six years less than for whites. *Black earning power is 73% what whites make for the same work. *Black Americans are twice as likely as whites to have their mortgage applications rejected.