"In 1957, President Eisenhower sent Congress a proposal for civil rights legislation. The result was the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The new act established the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and empowered federal prosecutors to obtain court injunctions against interference with the right to vote. It also established a federal Civil Rights Commission with authority to investigate discriminatory conditions and recommend corrective measures. The final act was weakened by Congress due to lack of support among the Democrats."
"From the period of the 1950s through the 1970s, struggles for civil and social rights, equality, and justice swept the United States. At universities and colleges, students championed the Free Speech Movement, demanding their right to free speech, political protest, and academic freedom. African Americans struggled for civil rights, and many groups fought for social justice — demanding equal rights, better working conditions, and an end to the Vietnam War. In 1965, feelings about racial inequality and economic and social injustice boiled over into widespread violence for the first time in Los Angeles's African American community of Watts. The community's transformation from angry frustration to hopeful growth is just one example of what was taking place in similar neighborhoods across the country during this tumultuous time."
"In 1954, the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education dramatically changed American society. The Court reversed the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that racially segregated public facilities were not inherently discriminatory. After the 1954 ruling, states could no longer apply “separate but equal” to public schools, in part because of segregation’s psychological effects on children. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the Court’s decision that the separation of Negro children “from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” In 1955, the Court ordained that desegregation of public schools should proceed “with all deliberate speed.” The following investigative report tells the story of one adolescent’s ordeal to persevere in the face of mob rioting as his family was forced to comply with consequences of the Court rulings. "