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HKS Authors

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Abstract

This paper offers a broad overview of Black citizenship within the United States, concentrating on the major shifts in Black life that have transpired since the classical phase of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. We examine several critical aspects of Black citizenship including economic status, education, criminal justice and mass incarceration, and political participation. Our report reveals that Black progress toward equal citizenship is inconsistent at best; at worst, it is stagnant and at times, regressive. As such, we conclude that dramatic solutions beyond traditional reformist approaches are needed in order to realize genuine citizenship and equal rights for Black people within the United States. In closing, we briefly highlight a specific example of a strategic approach to advancing substantive social and political change.

Citation

Wright Rigueur, Leah, and Anna Beshlian. "The History and Progress of Black Citizenship." Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2019): 1-11.