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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Relations between blacks and whites in the United States over the course of American history can be characterized at different points by oppression, conflict, neglect, ambivalence, contestation, improvement, disintegration, and transformation. Changes in the politics, legal circumstances, economic and material consequences, and the demographics of race can be tracked since the first Africans were forcibly brought to the shores of the United States and met the white Europeans who enslaved them. Both reflecting and shaping these transformations are the attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and opinions of each toward the other. Understanding what whites and blacks think of each other, and how they make sense of and understand race relations, racial groups, and racial dynamics—that is, what is in the hearts and minds of Americans about race—offers one vantage point from which to perceive what has changed, and what has remained the same, about relations between whites and blacks in the United States. This article discusses the history and trends in racial attitudes.

Keywords: racial attitudes, World War II, race relations, demographics, racial groups, American history

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