A Review On The Negro Family “The case for national action”

Filed under: NEWS NOW,U.S. POLITICS |

In 1965, a white sociologist working in the LBJ administration, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, authored an unsigned internal government report that sought to engender action on behalf of the African American community to mitigate the virulent racism long at work.

I read it last week, for the first time in at least 10 years.

The paper suffers from some specious implications, namely that black women bore some blame for the high rates of divorce in the community, and some unmistakably patronizing and culturally-biased social diagnoses. It also omits specific policy prescriptions.

But on the whole, it’s a well-researched, prescient and passionately written document that’s still worth the read today.

Perhaps Moynihan’s most enduring insight was the linkages he drew between racial discrimination, unemployment, poorly administered welfare incentives and the concomitant strain on familial cohesion, a toxic brew that has been an assault on African American children for generations.

Yet he also was far ahead of his times in terms of appreciating that African Americans did not suffer from some inherent problem, but instead endured under the weight of a system stacked against them. That enlightened view was all too rare in the government in 1965.

In one memorable passage, he writes:

“That the Negro American has survived at all is extraordinary — a lesser people might simply have died out … That the Negro community has not only survived, but in this political generation has entered national affairs as a moderate, humane, and constructive national force is the highest testament to the healing powers of the democratic ideal and the creative vitality of the Negro people.”

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Posted by on November 13, 2017. Filed under NEWS NOW, U.S. POLITICS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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