Equality elusive for black Americans

Fifty years ago, Rosa Parks sat down on a Montgomery, Alabama bus and ignited a mass movement that was to sweep away many of the barriers that faced black Americans.
Black oppression

Life is very different for black people in Montgomery, Alabama today compared to 1955.

An undated photo of a white-only sign in Louisiana

The days of open discrimination are gone – for the most part

Then, they were forbidden from drinking from the same water fountain as white people, using the same restrooms or the same restaurants, or going to the cinema to watch a film beside white people.

They were not permitted to take their children to the city’s parks, though black maids were allowed to accompany the white children of their employers.

"If you head down Dexter Avenue, black citizens can now walk into Chris’s Hotdogs, founded in 1918. Before, black citizens had to go to the back door and order takeout only – now they can sit at the lunch counter," said Kenneth Mullinax, media director for the Montgomery Improvement Association, a campaign group formed days after Parks’ arrest and headed by Martin Luther King.


Black skin still acts as a mark of difference – for many white Americans, a negative difference

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