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The 1950s and 1960s saw the peaking of the American Civil Rights Movement with the desegregation of schools in 1954 and the organizing of widespread protests across the nation under a younger generation of leaders. Martin Luther King was a catalyst for many nonviolent protests in the 1960s, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The act prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government and in employment and invalidating the Jim Crow laws (which mandated segregation in all public facilities, with a "separate but equal" status for black Americans and other non-white racial groups) in the southern United States. It became illegal to force segregation of the races in schools, housing or hiring.


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