Separate and Unequal: Black Americans and the US Federal Government

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9780198280163: Separate and Unequal: Black Americans and the US Federal Government
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Segregation in Federal government agencies and programs has been little appreciated as a key trait of American race relations in the decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Federal government used its power to impose a segregated pattern of race relations among its employees and, through its programs, upon the whole of American society well beyond the Mason-Dixon line. This pattern structured the relationship between black Americans and the United States Federal government--whether as employees in government agencies, inmates or officers in federal prisons, inductees in the armed services, consumers of federally-guaranteed mortgages, jobseekers in United States Employment Service offices, or visitors to National Parks in which the facilities were segregated (or, in some cases, non-existent for Black American visitors). In all these instances, segregation did not simply imply separation, but also profound inequality. In this work, King documents how instead of thwarting segregated race relations, the Federal government participated in their maintenance and diffusion.

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Desmond King is Official Fellow and Tutor in Politics, St. John's College, Oxford University.

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"This book is original, thorough, and significant. Its strenghts are numerous. It tackles a subject critically important in the history of American race relations. It sheds important light on current debates about the relationship of the federal government to black America."--Eric Foner, Columbia University


"Drawing on a wealth of archival sources, King shows how the Federal government systematically segregated African Americans in its own operations. The book provides important and original perspectives on the prevalence of racial discrimination within the Federal government from the Progressive Era until the 1960's. In so doing, it causes us to rethink conventional views of the Federal government as a neutral arbiter in race relations."--Margaret Weir, Brookings Institution


"Desmond King is one of a handful of scholars who takes seriously the manner in which the racial divide in the United States has been constitutive of its twentieth-century state and public policy. Separate and Unequal provides an important, overdue, synoptic treatment of blacks in the American regime."--Ira Katznelson, Columbia University


"Focusing on the inequality of federal employment policies from 1933 to the 1950s, this investigation makes an important contribution to the literature on history and African American studies."--Choice


"Separate and Unequal should appeal to a broad spectrum of people in various professional disciplines including political science, criminal justice, social work, labor studies, Black studies and public policy. Moreover, it would be a useful information tool for office holders and their staffs who have not grown weary of the battle to preserve and enhance African-American well-being within the United States of America....King's Separate and Unequal is a book that should be read with a sense of urgency, lest the abyss of 1896 re-emerge to consume us in 1996."--Black Issues in Higher Education


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9780198292494: Separate and Unequal: Black Americans and the US Federal Government

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ISBN 10:  019829249X ISBN 13:  9780198292494
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1997
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