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Kerner Plus 40 Symposium
March 4, 2008, Volume 54, No. 24



New Book: Kerner Plus 40 Report Assesses Racial Progress in America Since 1968 Kerner Commission Report

The Kerner Plus 40 Report is an assessment of how far the nation has come in dealing with racial inequality and tensions 40 years after the seminal report issued by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission.

The Commission was formed to examine why race riots occurred in U.S. cities during the 1960s. It concluded that a link existed between the racial unrest and the media’s failure to fully report African-American concerns. Its most lasting words came in its assessment that the nation was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”

The Kerner Plus 40 Report is the culmination of a joint project by scholars at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Africana Studies, Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies at North Carolina A&T State University and a team of journalists.

“On this 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report, it is time to seriously consider the more recent battles over Affirmative Action, the over-imprisonment of African-Americans and the reparations movement because the next storm could be right around the corner,” wrote Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, chair of sociology and director of the Center for Africana Studies, (CFAS) in the Report’s introduction.

Dr. Zuberi and DeWayne Wickham, director of the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies at North Carolina A&T, edited the book.

The volume contains empirical research, scholarly commentary, investigative reporting and transcripts from roundtable discussions with academics and journalists about race relations and racial equality in seven cities discussed in the original Kerner Report: Philadelphia; Cambridge, Maryland; Birmingham, Alabama; Los Angeles/Watts, California; Detroit, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Camille Charles, associate professor of sociology at Penn and associate faculty director at CFAS, contributed to the book and is its academic editor. Other contributors from Penn include Anita Allen, professor of law and philosophy; Mary Frances Berry, professor of history; and Michael Delli Carpini, Annenberg School for Communication dean.

Contributors from North Carolina A&T include Claude Barnes, professor of political science and criminal justice, and James Steele, associate professor of political science.

For more information see www.kernerplus40.org or call the Center for Africana Studies at (215) 898-4965 for a copy of the report, while supplies last.


Related: Identifying the Continuing Disparities: The Mission of the Commission Needs to be Completed

Almanac - March 4, 2008, Volume 54, No. 24