If we look at the history of race relations in America in the educational context the Afro American minority was largely suppressed in terms of education and learning opportunities. Racist attitudes locked the doors of opportunities for these enslaved people and even after they gained freedom the minority ignored education as a tool for survival. (Jackson 2008).They lacked the right of suffrage until the advent of the democratic trend of Civil rights and liberties and initiatives like the American Creed during the early 1940's by Gunnar Myrdal. It was indeed Myrdal who wrote in his book famously (quoted in Jackson 2008)
The ideals of the essential dignity of the individual human being, of fundamental equality of all men, and of certain inalienable rights to freedom, justice, and a fair opportunity represent to the American people the essential meaning of the nation's early struggle for independence. . . . These tenets were written into the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and into the Constitutions of the several states. . (p. 4)
These movements and initiatives were aimed at resolving their problems and to ensure equality and justice amongst all races. (Jackson 2008).A key role was played by Martin Luther king who was one of the pivotal leaders of the American civil rights movement. One of the landmark decisions/events in the history of African American Education has been the legacy of 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision which determined the status of African Americans based on the continued litigation,community protest, and electoral politics to get their rights.In this case the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision as follows
Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Today the modern African American can be identified with the likes of Opera Winfrey and Barrack Obama, as well as highly educated Hollywood stars like Will Smith etc.This denotes a respectable status for them but academics are quick to point to the reality of the ghettos and poor uneducated members of the ethnicity who live on low pay differentials. And these economic and wage differentials are responsible for the continuous racial tensions in states like Los Angeles which have a large number of minorities settled there.
Most of this crime and disorder is based upon race and ethnicity. The current racial tension is not just the usual white-black conflict but now statistics show that the local African American Population feels economically threatened by the immigrants that