Into the Main Stream: A Survey of Best Practices in Race Relations in the South

Into the Main Stream: A Survey of Best Practices in Race Relations in the South

Into the Main Stream: A Survey of Best Practices in Race Relations in the South

Into the Main Stream: A Survey of Best Practices in Race Relations in the South

Excerpt

When Margot Asquith, a keen-witted British woman and wife of a Premier, visited the United States for the first time several years ago, she was asked the premature question which is often put by reporters to celebrities, but which can seldom be intelligently answered: "What do you think about America?" She had an answer that was not lacking in incisive wit, even if it did not tell the whole story. She said, in substance, that America's progress is ahead of its civilization.

With perhaps an equal measure of generalization, it might be said with respect to race relations that the civilization of the South is still somewhat ahead of its progress. For the American creed and the Christian ethic, which would normally be a sufficient basis for all our human relations, are, at least as philosophies, a vital part of the southern tradition. The problem is that there have not yet been found sufficient ways of implementing these common convictions.

It will be said immediately that if these are real convictions they will express themselves in action and that there is no need for programs and sermons to help in the task of building understanding. The truth is that the general character and persistence of the concern for improved relations are the best possible indications that race and race relations are on the minds and consciences of the people of the region and that no one is yet satisfied that a final formula has been found.

Over the years the South has progressively recognized an obligation in the field of education and has moved to the point where it has conceded the ideal of equalization of educational facilities. This was exemplified in the agreement of eleven southern governors that the . . .

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