During his presidency, President Clinton refused to offer a formal apology for slavery. But that is exactly how some political leaders, as well as most white Americans, felt about the civil rights movement in its early stages. Few politicians sought shelter behind public opinion polls. Comparing the black redress movement to the early stage of the civil rights movement can prepare the American mind-set for atonement, as well as encourage proponents of reparations, in yet another way. The civil rights movement did not seem to have much chance of success during the 1950s, not unlike the black redress movement today. Even after the Supreme Court overturned racially segregated public schools in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education, the pace of public acceptance of the idea of equal rights was slow at best. However, the pace quickened dramatically, owing to five major events that took place in 1963.
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