US legislation that outlawed discrimination on the grounds of a person's colour, race, national origin, religion, or sex. Rights protected under the act include a person's freedom to seek employment. The act is considered the USA's strongest civil-rights legislation since Reconstruction.
The act specifically guarantees voting rights by removing requirements and procedures designed to disenfranchise minority groups and the poor, prohibits discrimination in public facilities, requires desegregation of public schools, expands the role of the Civil Rights Commission, and forbids discrimination by any programme that receives federal funds. The act established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which takes complaints against discrimination in the workplace to court.
Originally proposed by John F Kennedy in 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, carried out under Lyndon B Johnson, caused great controversy and instigated one of the longest Senate debates in history. It was the precursor to other attempts (such as affirmative action) to redress discrimination against minorities.
Johnson, Lyndon: Address on the Signing of Civil Rights Legislation
Johnson, Lyndon: The Right to Vote
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