American Race Relations Today


Progress can be described as the movement from simpler problems to more complex problems. The recent development of race relations in the United States has been just such a record of progress. As a result, the relatively straightforward remedies of the current civil rights revolution are no longer considered adequate.

In the fifteen-year period following World War II, twenty-one states passed enforceable laws prohibiting discrimination in public and private employment. About 98 per cent of the non-white population outside the South is now covered by such a law. The rest of the civil rights legislative agenda seems to follow in train behind this basic "fair employment" statute. In the same period, sixteen states enacted a prohibition of one kind or another against discrimination in housing. At each state legislative session these housing laws are generally broadened, as are the sanctions against discrimination in public accommodations, on the books of the twenty-seven states. At least eight states created over-all commissions against discrimination to enforce these networks of law, thus establishing themselves as active partisans against inequality based on racial, religious or ethnic identity.

The civil rights revolution necessarily addressed itself in other terms to the interracial problems of the Southern states where upward movement began from a different historical floor. Seven of these states passed "anti-lynch," "anti-masking," or other laws to hobble the uninhibited . . .

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Earl Raab
  • Morton Grodzins
  • Dan W. Dodson
  • Nathan Glazer
  • James B. Conant
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Garden City, NY
Publication year:
  • 1962


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