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Running comment on the running sores of prejudice, inequality, bigotry and lines of racial demarcation, as the author, a Negro, knowing the life of the have-nots in McMinnville, Tenn., starts his way out and up, through some education, the U.S. Navy, where he got a commission, then a college degree and lastly a job on the Morning Tribune in Minneapolis. It was in this paper that these reports first appeared in a series of articles as he traveled through 13 southern states experiencing contemporary white and black relations, while looking for the promise of the ""New South"". There were glimpses of it -- in individuals (the Warings of South Carolina), in institutions (the University of Oklahoma): there were signs of advancement in more open thinking: and there were the old stigmas of substandard housing, inadequate health care, discrimination and Jim Crowism in theaters, hospitals, hotels, transportation, education, voting, the whole long list, and the constant doubt and uncertainty as to treatment as a Negro and possibility of public rebuff. Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee -- sometimes with new laws but old practices, by deeply rooted white supremacists, sometimes bristling with segregation or fears of mongrelization, sometimes with a spark that might be a beacon for the future. And the conclusion- that what the Negroes need most -- and want -- is dignity which can be achieved in terms of humanity. A balance sheet of little things which throws big shadows --both white and black -- on American race relations, outspoken but not underhanded.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1952
ISBN: 0807121703
Publisher: Knopf