Many Americans have struggled in their lives to be treated equally. These struggles were highlighted during the civil rights movement. There were significant factors that contributed to the growing momentum of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, which highlighted the significance of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which required equal access to public places and outlawed discrimination in employment, was a major victory of the black freedom struggle, but the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was its crowning achievement. The 1965 Voting Rights Act suspended literacy and individual voting districts where such tests were being used. African Americans who had been barred from registering to vote finally had an alternative to the courts. If voting discrimination occurred, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 authorized the attorney general to send federal examiners to replace local registrars.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 had an immediate impact. Within months of its passage on August 6, 1965, one quarter of a million new black voters had been registered to vote, one third by federal examiners. Within four years, voter registration in the South had more than doubled. Winning the right to vote changed the political landscape of the South. When Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there were barely one hundred African Americans that held elective office in the United States. By 1989 there were more that seventy-two thousand African Americans that held elective office positions.
The seeds of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were sown in John F. Kennedy’s presidency. As Kennedy was assassinated, and Lyndon Johnson became president he believed that he owed it to Kennedy’s life to push through this act especially since he was not an elected president. Lyndon Johnson realized that a major civil rights act was needed to advance African Americans within the United States society. Johnson used the shock of...