Will There Always Be Discrimination?

In the 1960s in America, the issue of the day was racial equality.

African-American people in many parts of the U.S. were living in abject poverty. Black babies in America’s cities were living in unsanitary conditions and dying of starvation. Frequent confrontations with the white police forces in black communities everywhere created tense, explosive situations.

This was especially so in the South of the nation, where blacks were forbidden to eat at the same restaurants, drink at the same water fountains or use the same restrooms and other facilities as whites. Though many blacks in the rural South were said to be illiterate, they were nevertheless familiar with their own history: As descendants of slavery in the U.S., they had long known the sheer brutality of white lynch mobs. They had long experienced white people’s efforts to undermine black economic and educational progress and keep the African-American populace in a state of intimidation.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who was famous for the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, had supposedly freed black slaves, yet a hundred years later, African Americans were still struggling with the weight of white people’s discrimination and oppression against them. In the 1960s, a sharper focus of such issues came into being: Transit boycotts were held to oppose segregated busing. Blacks began to organize themselves into powerful voting blocs that would challenge the power structure of white society. A new African-American cultural identity emerged.

Many African Americans have come a long way and made substantial progress since the 1960s.

At the same time, it is also a fact that racial harmony is still an elusive dream in the “land of freedom and democracy.” The troubling question yet remains: Will there always be racial discrimination in the United States of America?

—Brian Covert