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Here’s a dirty little secret about the civil rights movement: A lot of Americans just don’t want to hear about it anymore. They find the subject dull or it makes them angry. Some African-Americans don’t want to hear stories about their parents getting hit upside the head while singing “We Shall Overcome.” And some whites don’t want to feel guilty. The result? We treat the movement like broccoli: It’s good for us, we’re told, but we shove it aside on our plates when no one is looking.

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