Download e-book for kindle: America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible by Stephan Thernstrom

By Stephan Thernstrom

In a booklet destined to develop into a vintage, Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom current vital new information regarding the optimistic alterations which have been completed and the measurable development within the lives of the vast majority of African-Americans. helping their conclusions with facts on schooling, gains, and housing, they argue that the belief of significant racial divisions during this kingdom is superseded -- and hazardous.

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Example text

No. And only one of many that southern blacks faced every day less than four decades ago. That world is gone—gone and often seemingly forgotten. Scholars casually refer to the “new slavery” in describing the condition of black America today. 2 Have we really just been spinning our wheels, going nowhere since the civil rights revolution of the mid-1960s? It’s a fundamental question. We cannot understand the present without an accurate picture of the past. We need to know how far we’ve traveled and by what road.

Too often, the voices of racial pessimism depict a caste society in the 1990s not fundamentally different from that in which Richard Wright grew up in the Jim Crow South—or that which he found in the North when he migrated at the end of the 1920s. The racial problems of today are in fact not the same as those of yesterday, and we cannot address them with a clear head unless we understand the difference. There is another point to the historical chapters, however. We have not only come a long way; we began our travels well before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.

The dropout data make another important point: the real issue (as Hugh Price of the National Urban League often says) is not admissions to institutions of higher learning, but black education in the elementary and secondary school years. Close the racial gap in academic achievement (a gap we discuss at length in Chapter 13), and the entire issue of preferences disappears. If we look together at the facts, surely many of us can agree: K-through-12 education must become the civil rights cause. Closing that gap will take deliberate and well-conceived educational policy.

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


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