DARKNESS AND LIGHT
BLaCK rIGHTS aDVOCaTeS made great strides in the 1960s. During those years, Congress passed a strong civil rights act; the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave many more black citizens the vote; and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 attacked discrimination in private house sales. The Twenty-fourth Amendment, eliminating the requirement that citizens pay a poll tax or other fee before being allowed to vote, was ratified in 1964. The poll tax had been used in the past to prevent black citizens from voting. In addition, the federal government began providing funds to help schools desegregate. Courts ordered school boards to desegregate teachers as well as students.
During that decade, black leaders gained national status. Martin Luther King Jr.'s efforts received worldwide attention, particularly after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Edward Brooke, R-Mass., became the first black to serve in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction. Thurgood Marshall, who had played such a crucial role in the Brown cases, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967. The mainstream successes of black entertainers such as Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sidney Poitier, the first black actor to win