Nearly 50 years ago, the Kerner Commission famously declared that “[o]ur nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” The picture has changed distressingly little since then. In the 1950 Census, the average African American in a metropolitan area lived in a neighborhood that was 35 percent white—the same figure as in the 2010 Census. In 2010, the average white American still lived in a neighborhood that was more than 75 percent white. America’s largest metropolitan areas—particularly, but not exclusively, in the North—continue to score high on many common measures of racial segregation. And racial segregation inhibits African Americans’ economic and educational opportunities—even health is worsened by it.
Bagenstos, Samuel R. "Racism Didn't Stop at Jim Crow." Review of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein. Democracy 46 (2017).