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Public Statements

Congresswoman Clarke Commemorates the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin at work, in schools, and in other public facilities. The act, introduced by Congressman Emmanuel Cellar of Brooklyn, was enacted on July 2, 1964.

"It was only with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment -- of equal protection under the law was ultimately fulfilled, almost a full century after the Civil War had ended. We should always remember that Congress did not enact the Civil Rights Act on its own initiative. Rather, it was the sacrifice of young college students who refused to leave "whites only' lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina, it was the families who had marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama and those who joined the March on Washington, D.C., the Freedom Riders, and the millions of women and men of conscience who refused to allow the evils of segregation to persist. It was their courage and sacrifice that led President Lyndon Baines Johnson to push the Congress to act in the face of a divided nation," said Congresswoman Clarke. "We owe a profound debt to the leaders, students and unsung heroes of the Civil rights Movement for their courage in speaking truth to power and putting their very lives on the line to change the course of history of the United States of America. Their legacy will continue to inspire generations of activists who are driven to pursue social justice and remain steadfast in their resolve to establish the dignity of every American and the respect for our collective humanity. Today, as we reflect on the events of an era gone by, let us all be strong in our resolve to cherish the memory of those who gave their lives for freedom, let us be inspired to push for equity in these times of income inequality and let us be intolerant of hatred, bigotry and discrimination in all of its manifestations."


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