It is now mostly a horrendous national memory, but there was a time when the United States had not only practices, but also laws, that supported slavery (before 1865) and de jure (by law) as well as de facto (in fact) discrimination afterward.
We were a system of “united” states, divided by policies that deprived many of our residents of their inalienable rights, as defined by our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
It took a civil war to bring all states into compliance with the notion that “all men are created equal.” But, even after brother fought and killed brother, the country was still divided on the basis of race.
As most Americans know, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a leader of the civil rights movement when he led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. Two years later, he became co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Through the efforts of the SCLC and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), eventually segregated schools were abolished, and the campaign for universal fair treatment was considered by the Supreme Court...