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CIVIL RIGHTS

The civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s was, like the feminist movement, a struggle for equality not just at the level of federal laws but also in the workplace, the neighborhood, and the home. Black people in the US experienced overt violence and explicit bias – from redlining, in which banks and realtors denied blacks the ability to buy a home, to racial profiling and harassment by the police, mass incarceration, inferior schools, and lower pay and opportunities for advancement. They also faced systemic racism and implicit bias – unconscious attitudes and stereotypes held by individuals based on the characteristics of another person, such as race. The civil rights movement sought change not only in formal institutions (through policy change) but also in informal institutions – society’s norms, beliefs, and understandings about race.

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