Conceived by a band of wealthy, white men who demanded freedom from Great Britain, America has developed into a multicultural, multiethnic community. And even as family separations
at the border, racist rallies
, travel bans
and bigoted slurs
remain part of our cultural landscape, our transformation rolls on.
Here are some of the ways our nation has become -- and will continue to grow -- more diverse:
From a collection of colonies, America grew ...
The first US Census, in 1790, counted 3.9 million people living in the brand-new United States
: nearly 3.2 million white people and about 760,000 black people
, of whom about 92% were slaves
; no other races or ethnicities were tallied.
By 1960, at the advent of the civil rights movement, the country had ballooned to 178 million people -- about 89% of them white, 11% black, and a tiny fraction comprised of other races, including Native American and Asian and Pacific Islander. Hispanic ethnicity wasn't counted yet.
... and new laws changed who we would become.