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Well, there has been a huge amount of progress made by racial minorities during this time.
In 1950, segregation in schools was legal. So was segregation in public places run by the government and those (like stores and restaurants) that were run by private people. It was illegal in many states for whites and nonwhites to marry.
Since then, all of this has changed. Brown v. Board of Education made school segregation illegal. The 1964 Civil Rights Act made discrimination in public accomodations illegal. Loving v. Virginia struck down the laws against interracial marriage.
Civil rights are freedoms and rights of individuals in a society. Many countries, explicitly grant such rights to their citizens which include rights such as freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, right to own property, and to receive fair and equal treatment from government, other persons, and private groups. Though, in USA the bill of rights theoretically granted equal rights to all, in practice many discriminatory practices against minorities continued to exist even after abolition of slavery. It became the main domestic issue in USA in 1960's
Though there was a gradual movements towards greater equality in USA the progress was rather slow. The period between 1950 to 1970 is marked in US history is a period of increasing struggle for civil rights of minorities and resultant achievements in this direction.
One of the main leader of this movement was Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), who championed the cause of equal civil rights in a peaceful way almost throughout these two decades. His movement won support from a wide section of American population including whites. This movement led to abolition of laws that had barred integration in southern states. In 1956 Supreme Court ordered provision of integrated seating in public buses
Major progress in civil rights for minorities was made with passing of Civil Rights Act in 1964, which was the result of initiatives taken by President John F. Kennedy, and his successor Lyndon B. Johnson. This act prohibited racial discrimination in voter registration, access to public places such as parks, public lavatories and buses, and provided for equal opportunity in employment and education. Similarly, the Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination in other areas such as the sale and rental of housing. It also made provision of financial aid for the needy.
I would say that there was a great deal of progress for minorities made within this time period. Women were able to begin the process of articulating their own voice with works like Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique." The redefinition of women's roles, a reconfiguration that had actually started in WWII, was beginning to emerge in different forms of the social order, such as with the presence of the birth control pill. At the same time, African- Americans' struggle for Civil and Political rights also emerged in this time period. Seeking change on economic, social, and political levels, the advancement made by African- Americans in this time period helped to enhance the validity of the cause, one that is still fought for today. The need to achieve social and political equality would serve as a template for other groups to learn from and launch their own recognition movements afterwards.
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