With the great momentum of civil rights justice on the side of the Northern, Western and Mid-Western states, American magazine editors felt comfortable running articles like this one from 1964 that presented the statistical data indicating just how dramatically the African-Americans were suffering from poor health.
(Also included in the report is data concerning Harlem, N.Y. and other northern slums)
"To the men who count the living and the dead - the statisticians, discrimination against the Negroes carves a picture in their death charts as clear as an inscription on a new tombstone, as pathetic as a dead child's forgotten doll."
• In the early Sixties, the mortality rate for Black infants stood at 42 per 1000 live births; the white infant mortality rate was 22.
• During this same period, the cancer death rate for Black women was on the rise and the cancer death rate for white women was declining.
• In 1963, a Black man with pneumonia had half the chance of surviving as his white counter-part.
The attached is an historic article that explains the lesson that so many white Americans had to learn in order that America become one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This long anticipated confession is only three pages long, but it took centuries to write and its author, who described himself as just a "Southern [white], reared in the common tradition" lucidly explains the steps that had to be made in order that he earn his "initiation into human decency".
There can be no doubt that many ragged, dog-eared copies of this middle class magazine must have been passed from seat to seat in the backs of many buses; perhaps one of the readers was a nineteen year-old divinity student named Martin Luther King?
Beginning in the Forties small articles like this one began appearing across the nation - snippets indicating that the American people (ie. whites) were slowly catching on to the system of racial injustice they had inherited, and wondering aloud as to the tyranny of it all:
"To 13 co-eds at Upsala College, East Orange, N.J., democracy is something more than a worn text-book theory. It is a living, though thorny, reality. Shortly before school's end, they formed one of the nation's first interracial, interfaith college social sororities."
Another article about segregation's end can be read here.
Speaking of thawing ice:
"In 1942 Roper Poll found only 42 per cent of Americans saying 'yes' to the question 'Are Negroes as intelligent as Whites and can they learn just as quickly if given education and training?' After W.W. II the number rose to 57 per cent."