Introduction

Introduction

The conclusions of the Kerner Commission Report on the urban riots during the late 1960s have been widely accepted; namely that this angry black urban upheaval was driven by a gnawing alienation and despair among mainly working-class and poor Afro-Americans. This sector of blacks suffered not just the usual vulgarities of American racism but extensive police brutality from mainly white police forces and were blocked from paths of mobility in the emergent postindustrial society. Between 1960 and 1967 urban America witnessed a major growth in central city black population of 2.4 million (nearly 90 percent of all black population growth for this period), while at the same time there was a steady exodus of industry and whites from central city milieux. This further weakened the working-class dynamic in many urban black communities

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