Power Gains of American Negroes
The postwar years have been marked by substantial betterment of relations between black and white citizens in most parts of the United States. In recent weeks a leading Negro sociologist has cited “notable progress” in breaking down racial prejudices, the head of a large interracial organization has noted “marked improvement” in working and living conditions of American Negroes, and a prominent southern newspaper editor has said race relations in the South are better now than at any time in the past.
A notable contribution to public understanding of the race problem was made by the report in 1947 of the President's Committee on Civil Rights, Decisions of federal courts, before and since the committee's report, have done much to mitigate discriminations on account of color. Congress has lagged behind the executive and judicial branches, although some of the legislation proposed to remove causes of friction between the races has long commanded majority support in both houses.
Pour principal measures bearing on Negro-white relations were recommended by President Truman in his civil rights message of Feb. 2, 1948. They were an anti-poll-tax bill, an anti-lynching bill, and bills to prohibit discrimination in employment and in interstate transportation. Anti-poll-tax bills were passed by the House in the Republican 80th Congress and the Democratic 81st Congress, but each was filibustered to death in the Senate. The same fate awaited a bill to establish a voluntary Fair Employment Practice Commission, passed by the House in 1950.