The 1964 Civil Rights Act to the PresentAffirmative action, which seeks to overcome the effects of segregation and other forms of past discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to African Americans and other affected groups, began in the 1960s. The use of racial quotas as part of affirmative action, however, led to charges of reverse discrimination in the late 1970s. In the 1980s the federal government's role in affirmative action was considerably diluted, and in 1989 the Supreme Court gave greater standing to claims of reverse discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 reaffirmed a government commitment to affirmative action, but a 1995 Supreme Court decision placed limits on the use of race in awarding government contracts. In the late 1990s, California and other states banned the use of race- and sex-based preferences.The various civil-rights acts and the diminishment of prejudice produced changes in the political arena; African Americans became increasingly elected to public office. In 1966, Edward Brookebecame the first African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction, and, in
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