Affirmative Action And The Civil Rights Act

2055 WordsDec 5, 20169 Pages
Affirmative Action was first enacted in the United States in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It was intended to make hiring and university admittance practices fair, and it also required them to be made without regard to race, religion, and national origin. The law was intended for all groups to have an equal opportunity for employment and higher education, and it required that affirmative action be taken to ensure certain groups were employed or admitted. Gender was later added to the list of factors that could not be used to discriminate against a person. Affirmative Action was needed in America at the time because of the country’s history of discrimination against certain groups, particularly African Americans. Until the 1860’s slavery was legal in the United States and, even after it was abolished, African Americans continued to be discriminated against by “Jim Crow” laws, which segregated almost every aspect of life according to race. For example, in Montgomery, Alabama black residents had to sit in the back of municipal buses and a white person would never have to stand on a Montgomery bus even if it was crowded. As more white people boarded a bus, the “white section” increased, decreasing the number of seats available to blacks. Also, in many southern states in particular, laws were passed that required the separation of whites and blacks in public. “The segregation principle was extended to parks, cemeteries, theatres,
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