Kerner @ 50: Communication and the Politics of Race in the United States

, ,
Kerner @ 50: Communication and the Politics of Race in the United States

Publication No. 4

Special Issue of Journal and Overview Article

UHJCByerly, C., and Lamb, Y.R., eds. 2019. Kerner @ 50: Communication and the Politics of Race in the United States. Special issue of the Howard Journal of Communications. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Group.

Role: Serving as co-editor in conceiving, developing and editing journal, and a first author on the overview article.

Synopsis and Impact:

In 1968, following a series of violent urban rebellions, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders released its “Kerner Report” concluding that the United States was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”

The “Kerner Commission,” nicknamed for its chairman Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois, laid part of the blame for these rebellions at the feet of the news media for their imbalanced coverage and hiring practices. As a result, the report said, an almost entirely white core of reporters and editors in the nation’s media had failed to report adequately on race relations, particularly omitting the difficulties experienced by those in inner cities.

Successive generations of news leaders have tried and failed to reach goals of parity in making mainstream newsrooms reflect the country’s demographics. Some studies show that neither have those media yet been able to adequately cover race matters in a nation experiencing an ongoing “browning of America” and the emergence of a new era of race-related civil unrest and violence.

Scholars and media practitioners have submitted both commentaries and scholarly manuscripts on “Kerner @ 50: Communication and the Politics of Race in the United States.” Two department chairs in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications proposed this special issue of the Howard Journal of Communications to assess the state of affairs over the half-century since the release of the landmark report. Their overview article focuses on media reaction to the report as well as the stance of President Lyndon B. Johnson on the riots and on the findings of the commission he had assembled.

In addition to the journal article, this project meets criteria No. 3 set forth on pages 9 in Appendix A of Recommendation 305-2015 as an Exemplary Creative/Professional Activity:

Criteria No. 3. Writing, editing and/or production of a scholarly, professional or popular book, monograph or other material if the project demonstrates high standards in the practice of the discipline and/or is published by a major publisher or academic press.

Library of Congress Photo: A soldier stands guard on a street in Washington, D.C., after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.


Posted on

June 1, 2018

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *