Color, Class and Personality: Prepared for the American Youth Commission

Color, Class and Personality: Prepared for the American Youth Commission

Color, Class and Personality: Prepared for the American Youth Commission

Color, Class and Personality: Prepared for the American Youth Commission

Excerpt

GOVERNMENTS generally recognize that when the external security of a nation is in danger, the importance of maintaining internal unity is greatly increased; they adopt different methods, however, of achieving this objective. Required conformity is common in totalitarian states; in a democracy coercion, though not entirely absent, is emphasized less than voluntary loyalty.

In our democracy all persons are expected to accept civic responsibility and are presumed to have an equal opportunity to rise to positions of importance in national life. Equal opportunity, personal liberty, and a society that is classless, casteless, and without barrier to individual success through personal merit--these are glittering terms in a democracy, spoken freely from the platform and over the microphone.

But for a tenth of the population in this country these terms cannot be taken too literally. When democratic rights, privileges, responsibilities, and rewards mean one thing to people of light pigmentation and another to those of darker hue, the seemingly superficial matter of skin color becomes involved in any consideration of national unity and security.

A one-tenth minority is a sizeable one, with which even a totalitarian state would reckon. A democratic state, depending more upon free cooperation, must give special attention to its minorities in times both of peace and of conflict. Hence, this book assumes that the Negro is of national importance and interest to America, that the way he thinks . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.