Kerner Report | KALW

Kerner Report

Following a summer of race riots in 1967, President Johnson convened the Kerner Commission to investigate why black communities were frustrated and rising up. The report the commission produced was revolutionary in its conclusions that white society had denied opportunity to black Americans living in poor urban neighborhoods. It also provided recommendations for solving issues such as housing, education, and policing. 

Credit Wikimedia Commons

On the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Report in Spring 2018, scholars from around the United States came to the University of California, Berkeley, to explore how far American race issues have really come over all those years. KALW was on the scene to cover the proceedings. 

In 1967, following a summer of civil unrest in cities across America, President Lyndon B. Johnson convened the Kerner Commission to look at the issues underlying these protests. The Commission's report, issued the following year, concluded that systemic racism lay at the heart of the problems and that  “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white –  separate and unequal.” Why did nothing come of the Commission's recommendations and how can we avoid repeating those mistakes today?

 

Did you know that Richmond, Milpitas, and Palo Alto all had subdivisions where it was illegal for African Americans to own a house?

Courtesy of UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

 

Scholars from around the country are at UC Berkeley this week for a conference exploring racial justice. It’s called "Race & Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50."

Courtesy of Detroit Free Press

In the summer of 1967, more than 150 riots broke out in Black communities across the country, protesting racial injustice. President Johnson then called a special commission to investigate, which produced an unusual document, called the Kerner Report, which analyzed the reasons why Black communities were frustrated and rising up.