The first time I recall hearing terms like "racist" and "civil rights" was on a trip to Michigan in the summer of 1963. A lady from Grand Rapids discovered that the new boys were from Alabama, and let us know what she thought of white people from the South. I was astonished. A bit later we overheard her telling adults about vegtables missing from her garden. She didn't know for sure, but a Black family had just moved in down the street. Hmmmm. We just looked at each other and smiled.
What people would call racism today in the late 1950s and early 1960s I recall as offhanded and casual, not intended to be hateful or demeaning. Here's an example in the opening scene of this series. I'm curious to know if Sam the waiter seems like people you remember from those days.
Looking around, I find that this series is being carried all over the world. Best I can tell, The People's Republic of China is the only major country where it doesn't run.
Old Gold advertisement from this era