Special Section: Things You Didn't Do, Boy

One by one—beginning with the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, which outlawed school segregation, reaching on through the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964, 1965 and 1968 —the barriers against blacks in the South have come tumbling down. But it is shocking to recall how high they were in 1954, and in many cases much later than that. By statute, ordinance or custom that had the force of law, blacks in most parts of the eleven states of the Confederacy, plus some Border states and Washington, D.C., did not:

Serve on juries.

Send children to white public schools.

Drink from a...

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