America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible - download pdf or read online

By Stephan Thernstrom

In a e-book destined to develop into a vintage, Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom current vital new information regarding the confident adjustments which were completed and the measurable development within the lives of nearly all of African-Americans. aiding their conclusions with records on schooling, profits, and housing, they argue that the notion of great racial divisions during this nation is superseded -- and unsafe.

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27 There was little racial separation in public facilities other than schools before the 1890s, but that is mainly because there were few public facilities of any kind in the overwhelmingly rural South. Forcing blacks to sit in a separate section at the back of the streetcar was not an urgent issue in a region in which there were hardly any streetcars. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, though, the urban population of the South had grown to over four million—a fourfold increase since the Civil War.

In the civil rights community, by the late 1970s, that much-quoted aphorism had come to seem indisputably right. Today we argue without a common language. ” We have not exactly fallen silent on the subject. We talk endlessly, obsessively about the issue, but across linguistic barricades. “Equal opportunity” is a much-used phrase with a much-disputed meaning. In the battleground of ideas, language is part of the territory each side seeks to capture. And thus, while advocates of race-neutral policies equate such equality with basic access—an absence of closed doors—their critics look for outcomes.

In Chapter 3 we turn to the impact of World War II on the status of African Americans—the major social, economic, and demographic changes that occurred in the 1940s and 1950s. Once again, in large numbers blacks boarded trains and buses for northern cities where the money was (relatively) good; in the war and immediate postwar years, black earnings rose dramatically—more dramatically than they have in any subsequent two decades. The military was segregated, but southern and northern blacks served together, and the exposure of those from the South to northern racial attitudes was subversive.

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America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible by Stephan Thernstrom


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