San Diego Law Review

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This Symposium on Systemic Racism offers a timely review and analysis of an urgent and persistent problem plaguing the United States. Many of the narratives we offer about the history and trajectory of law and society emphasize progress with respect to racism and the struggle for equality. We note the milestones of racial progress: the Thirteenth Amendment’s abolition of slavery in 1865; the 1868 adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment with its command of “equal protection”; the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education declaring state-sponsored racial segregation unconstitutional; the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning discrimination in employment, hotels, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation; the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, designed to eliminate multiple barriers to voting. Each of these legal triumphs reflected extraordinary efforts to advance equality and merits celebration.

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