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February 9, 1990

A Common Destiny: Blacks and American Society

Author Affiliations

Howard University Washington, DC

Howard University Washington, DC


edited by Gerald David Jaynes and Robin M. Williams, Jr, 608 pp, with illus, $35, ISBN 0-309-03998-3, Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;263(6):892. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440060140047

The status of blacks in American society has been the subject of several important reports in recent years. For example, the US Department of Health and Human Services Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health (1985) identified the six medical conditions for which the gaps in mortality between whites and blacks are the greatest. A few years later, the American Council on Education and the Education Commission of the States published One Third of a Nation—A Report of the Commission on Minority Participation in Education and American Life. These as well as other recent publications on the status of blacks are useful references for the study of the specific inequities that black Americans experience in areas such as education, medical services, housing, and employment opportunities. Most of these publications, however, examine no more than one or two aspects of the conditions that persistently burden the lives