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Word Count: 425
Minorities Blacks in America Americans cherish the picture of their country as a land of wealth and opportunity Yet many groups wanting to share in the nations overall prosperity have experienced how scarce opportunities can be in the competition for income and status Discrimination because of color culture and age for example has kept many Americans from sharing equal protections and prospects in American society The 1960s was a decade of turbulence and social change Blacks and other minorities became politically active bringing their protests to the streets and courts all over the country In response to minority demands many new laws were passed to outlaw and compensate for inequalities However laws alone cannot eliminate discrimination Attitudes change slowly For example despite the existence of laws that prohibit housing discrimination many people still refuse to rent to blacks and Hispanics Minority demands are sure to continue and new solutions will be essential as the composition of American society continues to change rapidly Hispanics and the elderly will account for an increasingly larger share of the population and society will have to make adjustments to these changing demographics For Americas blacks the struggle for equal rights has been long and often bitterly opposed When the Founding Fathers asserted in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and possess inalienable rights to life liberty and the puruit of happiness women and blacks were excluded Not until after the Civil War ended in 1865 did blacks begin to share in the most basic rights of citizenship Three Constitutional amendments were passed and ratified between 1865 and 1870 The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery the Fourteenth Amendment gave blacks the rights of citizenship and the Fifteenth Amendment gave them the right to vote Despite these Constitutional provisions Southern whites found ways to circumvent the intention of amendments Racial prejudice was rationalized and institutionalized in the South Until the modern civil rights movement which began in
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