The Kerner Commission And Race In America — 50 Years Later
Not long after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, racial tension in the U.S. remained high with riots and violence in a number of cities. Those events got even more dramatic with the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.
It was in that environment that the Kerner Commission — put together by President Lyndon Johnson — released its report on race in America. Its primary conclusion was that inner-city violence was being driven by poverty and institutional racism.
Alice George, historian and contributor to Smithsonian.com, has written about the Kerner Commission 50 years after its release. She joins The Show's Steve Goldstein to talk about it.