Although the 1950s are portrayed as an era of conformity, the decade witnessed a tide of rebellion that buoyed political and social protest through the 1960s and 1970s. Literary works, like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, announced the intent of the post-World War II generation to question fundamental cultural tenets and to make its own rules. Successful legal challenges to school segregation set African Americans on the road to attaining long-denied constitutional rights. In the years that followed, disempowered Americans took to the streets to demand equality and demonstrate against governmental policies.
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