May 31, 2011

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Being Black in 1965.


In the wake of recent violence towards the Civil Rights Movement and the continued marches and protests that were sweeping the country, President Johnson delivered an address to Congress on March 13, 1965 in an effort to confirm his commitment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and pledge continued efforts to uphold the provisions of the Act and to introduce legislation which would become the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Pres. Johnson: “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.”

The Civil Rights Movement had no easy go of it. As 1965 wore on, the violence would continue and increase and for a time it seemed as if nothing was going to change as frustration eventually turned on entire cities. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a significant piece of legislation and probably the most controversial, as was evidenced by the arguments during its renewal in 2006.

In 1965 it was just too late to turn back. A sentiment that is reiterated, even today.

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