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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
The 1960's
Civil Rights Act of 1964



Civil Rights Act of 1964
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    pointed, unemployed, filibuster, comprehensive, statistics, legislation, converge, better, endure, federal, penned, racial, poverty, abide, widespread, election
     content words:    John F., United States, Civil War, Harry S., Black Americans, John Kennedy, President Kennedy, Civil Rights, Lyndon Johnson, President Johnson


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Civil Rights Act of 1964
By Jane Runyon
  

1     When John F. Kennedy ran for President of the United States in 1960, he told the people of the country that it was time to make a change. He said he wanted to make sure that the needs of all of the people were being met. He wanted to help those in poverty. He especially wanted to help black Americans. He pointed out the fact that black Americans had been promised equality after the Civil War. They had been promised equality up until the term of Harry S. Truman. Black Americans were still waiting for that equality to come about throughout the country. There were places in the South that still kept them from voting. There were places they were still not allowed to eat or stay overnight. There were colleges they were not allowed to attend. Due mostly to Kennedy's promise to remedy these wrongs, seventy per cent of the blacks who voted, voted for John Kennedy in the 1960 election.
 
2     For the first two years following the election, Kennedy did little to keep his promise to black America. It wasn't until the summer of 1963 that President Kennedy starting pushing harder for better civil rights legislation. He tried to educate the citizens of America on the hardships that Negro citizens had to endure. A black child had only about half the chance of graduating from high school that a white child had. There were two black adults without jobs for every unemployed white adult. Statistics declared that a black person would probably live seven fewer years than a white on average. Kennedy declared that something needed to be done.
 
3     Kennedy's plans were put on hold when he was assassinated in November of 1963. Civil Rights leaders weren't sure what would happen. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, was an unknown leader to them. Would he follow through with the plans of President Kennedy? Just days after the death of President Kennedy, the answer came. President Johnson called for the passage of a civil rights bill to stand as a memorial to Kennedy.

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