Affirmative Action and African-American Opportunity in the 21st Century
In March of 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive order 10925. The order was fundamental in creating the concept of affirmative action, which was to ensure that employment opportunities and practices were free of racial biasedness. Over the last six or seven decades the original concept would evolve with additional executive orders being issued to include education amongst other issues to help groups such as African-Americans have better opportunity. In the 21st century, many people believe that affirmative action is no longer needed, that is unfair, a source of reverse racism, and was only meant to be a temporary fix. Economists and other social scientists have gathered data on affirmative action’s effectiveness. They have concluded that it has directly benefited minorities and women since it gives them opportunities that they would not have had otherwise (Crosby 129). Affirmative action was created for a reason, compared to previous centuries, how has affirmative action affected African-American opportunity in the 21st century?
Since the end of Civil War until the mid-20th century, there were infrequent efforts to remedy the results of hundreds of years of slavery, segregation, and denial of opportunity for African-Americans (civilrights.org). In the early 1960s, racial segregation in America was at an all-time high. African-Americans found themselves unemployed or working low waged jobs. White males dominated the employment and job market all across America. The whites held positions ranging from clerks in local town supermarkets to managers of big businesses in places like New York City. The black males were reduced to cleaning toilets and...
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...ned from even applying for (Ezorsky 64-65). In a study of several recent workforce industries by the U.S. Census Bureau, in the fields of education, social assistance, and public administration there are more African-Americans employed than any other race. They also have a significant presence in the healthcare industry, which is expected to have an extensive job growth in the coming years. In another study, it was found that African-American women, in particular, have been making great strides over the last few decades compared to the men. In the 1960s, black women worked as maids and cleaned people 's homes for just dollars a day. Today they hold top positions in professional business are making a few hundred a day. Black women are working in the “white collar” jobs than men. In “blue collar” jobs the men are more abundant, but there are some women as well.
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