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How have economic changes in the United States since the end of the Second World War affected African Americans? What might explain why blacks remain disproportionately represented in the ranks of the unemployed despite several decades of advances in civil rights? How might black unemployment be most effectively addressed?

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Since the end of World War II, particularly in the period starting in the late 20th century, employment trends have favored workers who have college educations and specialized training. Many of the jobs that do not require advanced skills, such as jobs on assembly lines, grew in the period during World War II, but these jobs have increasingly been replaced by automation and computers. African Americans are less able to access college educations, as they tend to have fewer resources and attend high schools with fewer resources. Therefore, they have not always been able to attain jobs that require advanced forms of education, in spite of the gains they have made with regard to civil rights.

To remedy this situation, public education as a whole needs to be revamped. Schools in poorer neighborhoods, which are disproportionately neighborhoods where people of color live, tend to not prepare students for college. Therefore, schools in these neighborhoods need to do a better job of giving students skills that they will need for college. In addition, students need additional help to get through college, including financial aid and tutoring. In addition, adult workers may require additional job training to be prepared for the newer jobs that are being created today in areas such as clean energy.

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