The Negro Family:
The Case For National Action
Office of Policy Planning and Research
United States Department of Labor
Two hundred years ago, in 1765, nine assembled colonies first joined together to demand freedom from arbitrary power.
For the first century we struggled to hold together the first continental union of democracy in the history of man. One hundred years ago, in 1865, following a terrible test of blood and fire, the compact of union was finally sealed.
For a second century we labored to establish a unity of purpose and interest among the many groups which make up the American community.
That struggle has often brought pain and violence. It is not yet over.
State of the Union Message of President Lyndon B. Johnson,
January 4, 1965.
The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations.
In the decade that began with the school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court, and ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the demand of Negro Americans for full recognition of their civil rights was finally met.
The effort, no matter how savage and brutal, of some State and local governments to thwart the exercise of those rights is doomed. The nation will not put up with it-- least of all the Negroes. The present moment will pass. In the meantime, a new period is beginning.
In this new period the expectations of the Negro Americans will go beyond civil rights. Being Americans, they will now expect that in the near future equal opportunities for them as a group will produce roughly equal results, as compared with other groups. This is not going to happen. Nor will it happen for generations to come unless a new and special effort is made.
There are two reasons. First, the racist virus in the American blood stream still afflicts us: Negroes will encounter serious personal prejudice for at least another generation. Second, three centuries of sometimes unimaginable mistreatment have taken their toll on the Negro people. The harsh fact is that as a group, at the