As if their burdens were not overwhelming enough, the leaders of the civil rights movement have had to face a central pessimism at the heart of the Negro revolution. Like his fellow whites at the bottom of the economic pyramid, the American Negro has it driven into his consciousness by the great leveler, television, that the American way of life
expects him to change his brand of cigarettes regularly, drink more beer, purchase instant color cameras, take off for Bermuda by jet, and enjoy an ultra-modern kitchen.
Such overwhelming symbols of affluence have emphasized to the underprivileged the ambiguity of the Negro protest. The New York Times, describing Negro-white relations in the city, quoted a Negro worker as saying:...
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