Race Relations: Adjustment of Whites and Negroes in the United States

Race Relations: Adjustment of Whites and Negroes in the United States

Race Relations: Adjustment of Whites and Negroes in the United States

Race Relations: Adjustment of Whites and Negroes in the United States

Excerpt

One of the most complex and difficult problems confronting American democracy is that of race relations between whites and Negroes. Under slavery, when the number of free Negroes was negligible and the vast majority of the race were in a position of complete subordination, the problem of race adjustment, though often troublesome, was comparatively simple, and the infrequency of slave uprisings affords evidence that an adjustment was reached and maintained. With emancipation, serious complications -- social, economic, and political -- were introduced. Propertyless, for the most part unskilled, and with the habit of depending on their "white folks" strongly established, the Negroes were the easy victims of unscrupulous Carpetbaggers and Scalawags who exploited them for political purposes, and by their activities did much to intensify if not create the bitterness that marked relations between North and South, and between southern whites and Negroes, during the Reconstruction era. Until recent years the problem of race relations between whites and Negroes has presented itself acutely only in the South. For decades after emancipation the Negroes remained in the rural areas of the southern states. But the industrial emergency created by the World War and the reduction of immigration caused a vast migration of Negroes to the North, where they have remained in large numbers; with the decline of agriculture and the increasing urbanization of American life, it seems unlikely that they can ever be returned to their former economic status. Their future is linked in a larger measure than before with that of American industry and business generally. Relations between whites and Negroes, no longer a sectional matter, are assuming increasing importance in our national life, both in the North and in the South. Race relations has thus become a field which demands the intelligent attention of every educated citizen.

The authors of this book are leaders in the attempt to work out a basis for intelligent and mutually tolerant relations between the two . . .

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