Through the decade of urban riots, civil rights marches and the Great Society, the material lot of America's blacks improved substantially. Yet, in nearly every category measured in a new report by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, blacks still lag far behind the white population.

While the median black family income rose by 50%, from $4,001 in 1960 to $6,191 in 1969, for example, the median white income increased from $7,252 to $9,794. More blacks than ever finished college during the '60s, but the high school dropout rate...

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