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Race relations is a sociological concept that emerged in Chicago in connection with the work of sociologist Robert E. Park and the Chicago race riot of 1919. Race relations designates a paradigm or field in sociology and a legal concept in the United Kingdom. As a sociological field, race relations attempts to explain how racial groups relate to each other, and in particular to give an explanation of violence connected to race.

The paradigm of race relations was critiqued by its own practitioners for its failure to predict the anti-racist struggles of the 1960s. The paradigm has also been criticized as overlooking the power differential between races, implying that the source of violence is disharmony rather than racist power structures. The term "race relations" has been called a euphemism for white supremacy or racism.

In spite of the controversial or discredited status of the race relations paradigm, the term is sometimes used in a generic way to designate matters related to race. Opinion polls, such as Gallup polls, use the term "race relations" to group together various responses connected to race. University sociology courses are often named "Race and Ethnic Relations."

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Gus Hills Minstrels, 1890-1898 Park Avenue, Manhattan.

Gus Hills Minstrels, 1890-1898 Park Avenue, Manhattan.

Digital ID: 482704. Abbott, Berenice -- Photographer. December 19, 1935. .Notes: Bust in pediment above sign for minstrels, newer signs on building with arched windows, dormers, advertise lofts, auto-metal sh... more

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