James O. Gibson, former city planning director and president of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, swiftly lists the ways in which he believes the gap between blacks and whites in 1968 has been bridged:

* Blacks are moving out of the District, while whites are moving in.

* Last November, a white was elected chairman of the D.C. City Council and another white member was reelected at-large.

* Blacks and whites now work side by side in businesses throughout the city.

* Last year, a white was elected president of the Federation of Civic Associations, an organization of black community groups formed years ago when the white citizens' groups refused to admit blacks.

* Both blacks and whites agreed last year that a proposal to give a tax credit for private school tuition was an attack on the city's school system and the plan overwhelmingly was defeated.

But residential segregation remains and "the largest deficit clearly is in the economic area," Gibson points out.

He adds that, historically, ethnic groups such as the Irish, Italians and now blacks must gain political power before they gain entry into the business community.

"Political power makes the entry into business possible because that's where you get the peer-level contacts," he explains.

Gibson agrees that "blacks barely have a toehold" in the business community, although he notes that there is a sprinkling of black partners with prestigious white law firms and the big accounting companies here.

"But it's a toehold that will grow," he said. "We are past tokenism."