Civil Rights Act of 1964

1840 Words Apr 26th, 2001 8 Pages
Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregation in the United States was commonly practiced in many of the Southern and Border States. This segregation while supposed to be separate but equal, was hardly that. Blacks in the South were discriminated against repeatedly while laws did nothing to protect their individual rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ridded the nation of this legal segregation and cleared a path towards equality and integration. The passage of this Act, while forever altering the relationship between blacks and whites, remains as one of history's greatest political battles. Racial unrest by the summer of 1963 was at its height since the Civil War. President Kennedy picked up the situation at the close of the …show more content…
With public support Kennedy was willing to wage in the political war that would inevitably ensue. Kennedy and Johnson both were very aware of the walls that Congress would build to stop any proposals involving civil rights. Immediate and effective action became the new focus. Together Kennedy, Johnson, and the civil rights leaders combined efforts to achieve speedy and thorough results. By May 31, 1963, Kennedy announced his plans for the civil rights movements to the public. First hand attempts to maintain segregation by the outspoken racist Governor George Wallace of Alabama provided Kennedy with the ideal timing to deliver his message. Before even outlining the details of his new proposal he told the nation,
100 years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free... and this nation, for all it hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizen are free. Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law (Loevy 17).

Immediately thereafter, he and Johnson headed meetings to outline the plans. The Leadership Conference of Civil Rights consisting of fifty or so civil rights organizations which had previously been established after Kennedy's initial proposals, called for a meeting on July 2nd inviting its participating