Nation: End of Reconstruction

BLACK Americans have known two major eras that promised racial justice. The first came during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The second, amounting to another Reconstruction, occurred during the late '50s and the '60s, when at various times the three branches of the Federal Government made common cause with the civil rights movement, "an idea whose time has come." Only months ago, integration seemed an irreversible process. Now it seems that the idea's time is waning; that, as happened 93 years ago, a racial Reconstruction may be collapsing. The pattern coalesced last week...

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