I don't think we'll see the racial thing go away until there's no more market for it. Yes...market. Much is to be gained by keeping that pot roiled up. It won't go away until we let it die a natural death. We do that by not letting the topic keep rolling off our tongues. It may take generations and that's one of the problems. We think legislators can write laws that make things hunky-dory right away but sometimes it just causes more turbulence when changes are forced on people rather than let the people realize that their perceptions may have been incorrect. It just takes time and we are too impatient.
I was disturbed by this report on our First Lady's graduation speech at an African-American university. I didn't get to hear more than the news folks released but what they did release is part of our problem, IMO. We need to keep bemoaning our past and maybe even color it with more intensity than it was in reality. Not good.
As for mining history, you bring something up that has interested me for quite some time and it's how folk song has treated the darker parts of such eras. It seems that, in olden days, struggle became a source of pride rather than simply opportunities to moan about "the man". Mining songs from the British Isles are quite different from ones telling of US history. One of my favorites is called "Sea Coalers" but I'm not sure where it's from...Scotland maybe?...but it tells of people who'd rather risk their lives in dangerous work than live on the dole. That doesn't happen here.