The struggles of the 1960s brought about far-reaching changes for American blacks - not only an end to legalized segregation and discrimination nationwide, but a change in the consciousness of both whites and blacks. After nearly 3 decades, however, black hopes for equality, particularly in the economic realm, are frustrated by political reaction and economic pressures. This collection of essays looks at the history of the black struggle and at the policies and political and economic realities that have brought progress to a near standstill. In an introductory chapter, Julian Bond reviews two and a half decades of black struggle, giving particular attention to the shifting fortunes of the movement for black freedom and equality and the recent worsening of black poverty relative to the condition of the affluent majority. Several authors focus on the leadership of the civil rights movement, including neglected women leaders and the history of the movement as a whole. Others analyze the experience of desegregation as it has affected both whites and blacks.
Additional areas explored are the continuing problem of "de facto" segregation in schools, the condition of blacks in the workplace and attempts to improve the situation of inner-city black youth. The volume concludes with an examination of options and strategies for reanimating the black agenda in the coming decades. The work of a distinguished group of scholars in the field, this book should be of interest to anyone concerned with race relations, policy issues, the civil rights movement, and U.S. political and social history.