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Detroit, from a French for straits, is in a strategically important location between lakes Erie and Huron. Civil rights for black Americans was guaranteed by the amendments that followed the Civil War, but in practice they were denied throughout the country and especially in the South. The decade of the 1920's introduced America to new freedoms and ways of thinking. Clarence Darrow was an attorney for the defense in several high profile cases including the Scopes Monkey Trial and also was an early leader in the American Civil Liberties Union. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been in the forefront of civil rights activity for a century.