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One of the most important movements to develop in the l960s was the Civil Rights Movement Even though things are far from perfect today conditions for African Americans and other minorities are certainly better than they were in the past Many people black and white risked their lives families and reputations to make these changes possible Before the Civil Rights Movement began a quality life for the African American was non- existent Conditions such as separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks existed There were colored balconies in movies theaters Seats in the back of buses were reserved for the blacks They were not served in most restaurants separate restrooms were maintained schools were segregated They had no voting rights Marian Anderson one of the worlds greatest contraltos sang for Presidents but was denied accomendations in hotels and restaurants across the land because of the color of her skin The struggle to change these conditions and to win equal protection under the law for citizens of all races formed the backbone of the Civil Rights Movement The movement really started in the l950s In 1896 the Supreme Court had ruled that there should be separate but equal facilities for black and white Americans The ruling dictated that everything should be segregated However segregated facilities particularly schools were seldom if ever equal White schools were usually new and well-maintained while black schools were single room shacks In l953 the Reverend Brown tried to enroll his daughter in an all white school in Topeka Kansas
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