1964 Civil Rights Act

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  • 1964 Civil Rights Act
    • Civil Rights Commission discoveries
      • 57% of African American housing was unacceptable
      • African American life expectancy was 7 years lower than  whites
      • AA infant mortality was twice that of whites
      • AA found it impossible to get mortgages
      • Property values dropped if an AA family moved into a neighbourhood that wasn't a ghetto
    • What were the terms of the act?
      • Federal funding wouldn't be given to segregated schools
      • Any company wanting federal business had to have a pro-civil rights charter
      • Any segregationist company could not win a federal contract
        • Any company wanting federal business had to have a pro-civil rights charter
      • Barred unequal application of voter registration requirements.
      • Outlawed discrimination based on race/colour/religion/national origin in hotels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public places
    • What was the reaction?
      • Southerners were horrified
        • Johnson only got away with it because he was from Texas (the south)
      • Ironically the AA community were most vocal in criticising the act
        • Riots by AA in north-eastern cities as the cat didn't go far enough
      • Johnson was dismayed at lack of public support from AA community
      • Was still major importance to America's political and social development
        • Johnson's greatest achievement
    • Johnson
      • Played the card: 'how could anybody vote against an issue so dear to the late president's heart'
        • Appealed to the nation who were still traumatised by Kennedy's murder
        • 68% now supported a meaningful civil rights act
      • America had moved on since the 1957 act
        • King was now an international figure and Malcolm X was now proclaiming a militant approach
        • Northern city ghettos were becoming more difficult
      • Believed he owed it to Kennedy's life to push through this act


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