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51 Years Ago Today: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Fifty one years ago today, a landmark piece of legislation that changed the way that Blacks were treated in America was signed.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The act put an end to unequal application of the law, such as voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities serving the general public.

Initially, enforcement of the act was weak, but increased in strength later years. Many would debate that assertion.

As we take a look back at what was a historic victory for people of color, let’s not ignore the fact that not much has changed today. An African American church in Charleston, South Carolina was the site of a mass murder that claimed the lives of 9 Black worshippers just last month. Black and Brown boys and girls continue to be treated unfairly by not just police, but the justice system, the education system and the country as a whole.

We can reflect on this victory, but remember that it is but a small step in our journey for equality, justice and peace for all.