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Civil Rights Act of 1964 in United States History

The main objective of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to address segregation and employment discrimination that the community had to experience on the basis of national origin, race, religion, and gender. The Act became the epitome of the civil rights movement and the further legislative policies that improved the state of affairs across the US. The first rendition of the Civil Rights Act was proposed by President Kennedy. Even though it was met rather antagonistically, it managed to survive, and southern members of Congress were unable to stop President Johnson from signing it into law (Jones-Eversley et al., 2017). Within the next several years, the government was able to deploy additional civil rights. Ultimately, a civil rights section appeared within the Justice Department, and the government gained a chance of investigating discrimination cases. Southern resistance did not avert the administrative bodies from pushing the legislation and making sure that an improved state of affairs is achieved.

At the time when President Kennedy entered the White House, he did not choose to pass the Civil Rights Act in order to introduce additional anti-discrimination measures. Nevertheless, the protests in Birmingham, Alabama, showed that action is needed to stop the increasing rates of violence against the minority populations. Therefore, the Civil Rights Act may also serve as an exemplary policy that has been utilized to address the civil rights of the community in a comprehensive manner. With the President trying to keep all of the US citizens free, the idea of supporting social justice was deemed highly relevant (Bader & Warkentien, 2016; Clayton, 2018). With Martin Luther King Jr. considering Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act to be the second emancipation, there was no doubt about the value that the new policy would bring to the community. The further renditions of the Civil Rights Act included the elderly, the disabled, and collegiate athletics women.

The further improvements in the area of the civil rights movement allowed the government to come up with the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act that addressed the discriminatory voting practices and the financing of property discrimination, respectively. Even though the government could not eradicate racism on the spot, it slowed down the process of legal segregation. It provided the minority populations with more opportunities to stand up for themselves. Before the Civil Rights Act was passed, African-Americans had to face exquisite challenges that averted them from accessing many areas of social life on equal terms with other communities (Andrews et al., 2016; Rosenbaum & Schmucker, 2017). The Act reduced the impact of disenfranchisement and diminished employment discrimination, facilitating the process of integrating minority populations into the existing community. It may be concluded that the Civil Rights Act increased the mobility of African-Americans and limited the high rate of occurrence of discrimination. It was for the given policy that low-income families, women, and racial and religious minorities started experiencing less backlash linked to discrimination.

Even though the impact of the Civil Rights Act was enormous in 1964, its legacy is still experienced to this day. The willingness to redefine the community and address the key sources of discrimination still drives the government and creates opportunities for policymakers to promote equality in the future. The civil rights movement may be considered one of the most impactful events in the history of the United States because it established a set of identical citizenship rights that African-Americans could not take advantage of in the past (Campbell, 2016). As an all-inclusive attempt to ensure that discrimination is not present in voting, public accommodation, and other areas of citizen lives, the Civil Rights Act became a proper response to the segregation and wrongful perceptions that the minority populations had to experience during the first half of the 20th century.

Even though it seemed to be a spontaneous confrontation based on violence, the government was able to achieve impressive outcomes that signified the legislative victory and created more opportunities for the minority representatives to benefit from their new rights and liberties. The long-standing status of discrimination was destroyed for the sake of improved housing- and occupation-related decisions that could elevate the African-American community to a different level. As for the population that took most advantage of the Civil Rights Act, those were the middle-class representatives of the African-American community who ultimately became the role models for the Black community (such professionals as doctors, lawyers, and teachers). Nevertheless, it may be safe to say that there is still a lot of room for improvement because the middle-class African-Americans moved to other areas and left the Black neighborhoods. The issue of poverty still haunts the Black community, as the civil rights movement could not affect the broken families, high crime rates, and other concomitant problems that were not addressed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Andrews, K. T., Beyerlein, K., & Tucker Farnum, T. (2016). The legitimacy of protest: Explaining White Southerners’ attitudes toward the civil rights movement. Social Forces, 94(3), 1021-1044.

Bader, M. D., & Warkentien, S. (2016). The fragmented evolution of racial integration since the civil rights movement. Sociological Science, 3, 135-166.

Campbell, K. (2016). The “New Selma” and the Old Selma: Arizona, Alabama, and the Immigration Civil Rights Movement in the Twenty-First Century. Journal of American Ethnic History, 35(3), 76-81.

Clayton, D. M. (2018). Black lives matter and the civil rights movement: A comparative analysis of two social movements in the United States. Journal of Black Studies, 49(5), 448-480.

Jones-Eversley, S., Adedoyin, A. C., Robinson, M. A., & Moore, S. E. (2017). Protesting Black inequality: A commentary on the civil rights movement and Black Lives Matter. Journal of Community Practice, 25(3-4), 309-324.

Rosenbaum, S., & Schmucker, S. (2017). Viewing health equity through a legal lens: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 42(5), 771-788.

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