The State of U.S.Race Relations

Capitol View Library

The State of U.S.Race Relations

Improved or Worsened?

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech as a part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The oration sought an end to racial injustice in America and called for an integrated society.

Today, the “cancelled check” metaphor remains among the many memorable passages from the powerful speech. After observing that African Americans were still not free 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Dr. King declared “...we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check...”

He then asserted, “...America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.” Have race relations in the United States improved or worsened over the course of the last half century?

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Karl Racine, the first elected Attorney General of the District of Columbia, will examine the topic.

Mr. Racine is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has served as managing partner of Venable LLP, where in 2006, he became the first African American managing partner of a top 100 law firm. For more than 20 years, the skilled litigator has been in public and private practice specializing in the areas of criminal and civil litigation and appellate advocacy.

Earlier, Mr. Racine served as an associate White House counsel under President Clinton. Prior to then, he worked as a staff attorney with the District of Columbia’s Public Defender Service.

In May 2008, the National Law Journal named him to its list of the 50 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in the nation.

Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m., for an enlightening analysis on the state or race relations in the United States.