Sunday, January 18, 2015

Remembering MLK Jr. and the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, landmark federal legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin: The article herein is a re-print of our 2014 article on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as participants in remembrance ceremonies

The late Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (left) and United States President Barack
 Obama, the nation's first Black president. (January 15 is the day King was born , 

the year of 1929)
Civil Rights Act of 1964 signing

THE JULY 2, 1964 SIGNING INTO LAW  OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 BY PRESIDENT LYNDON B JOHNSON. DIRECTLY BEHIND THE PRESIDENT IS CIVIL RIGHTS ICON THE REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. (East Room, White House, Washington, D.C. Photo by Cecil Stoughton). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 , passed by Congress and enacted on July 2, 1964, is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States[4] that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive in Austin, Texas
for a summit commentating the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act 1960 50th AnniversaryBy Kathy Wray Coleman, Editor-n-Chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog  
Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 21- year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper. ( / (

The late United States President Lyndon B. Johnson
The article below is a reprint of our 2014 article here at Cleveland Urban News. Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news. It is reprinted as we remember the birth of Civil Rights icon the late Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr and his efforts to ensure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

AUSTIN, Texas.- This week marks the 50th anniversary of the passage, on July 2 five decades ago of the historical Civil Rights Act of 1964, which President Lyndon B. Johnson, flanked by Civil Rights Icon the Rev Martin Luther King Jr and ranking congressional leaders, among others, historically signed into law, among  a divided America. (Editor's note: January 15 marks the day King was born in the year of 1929).

A Democrat from Texas, Johnson, then the vice president, assumed the presidency in 1963 upon the assassination of Democratic President John F. Kennedy and served out the remainder of Kennedy's unexpired term. He died in 1973 of heart disease.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 , passed by Congress and enacted on July 2, 1964, is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States[4] that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  It was intended to end  unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as "public accommodations"). (References for this paragraph at Wikipedia.Com).

President Barack Obama, America's first Black president, commemorated the anniversary of the landmark legislation during the final day of a three-day summit in Austin Texas yesterday that drew three other 
presidents, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and a host of Civil Rights leaders to the LBJ Presidential Library. And he gave just due to some Black Civil Rights icons in the audience as he spoke, a press conference in fact.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), the longest serving Black in Congress, former Georgia senator and former national NAACP board chairman Julian bond, and former Georgia congressman Andrew Young, also a former Atlanta mayor and once the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

"We celebrate giants like John Lewis and Andrew Young and Julian Bond and  recall the countless unheralded Americans, Black and White, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers whose names are etched not on monuments but in the hearts of their loved ones and in the fabric of the country they helped to change," said Obama.

The president described Johnson as a genius and a masterful politician. And while the president said that  there have been accomplishments since the legislation took effect,   he said also that Americans cannot rest.
"But we are here today because we know we cannot be complacent  for history travels not only forwards,  history can travel backwards, history can travel sideways, said Obama, a Democrat and former junior U.S. senator from Illinois.  "And securing the gains this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens."
Obama said that Civil and human rights  "must be nurtured through struggle and discipline, and persistence and faith. "
By the president's side was First Lady Michelle Obama, the country's first Black first lady. 
Though Blacks have progressed since the Civil Rights Act, data show that African-Americans still lag behind Whites collectively across the board and relative to education and socioeconomic status . Black children in public schools across the country still struggle even in school districts once subject to court oversight and desegregation orders, many, if not all relived from such court orders without the required remedying of the past vestiges of racial discrimination.

 Unemployment has hit the Black community the hardest, the remnants, in part, of failed economic policies of the Bush administration, the president has said, though a steady climb of economic revival is on the rise under his leadership, data show.

 The total national unemployment rate is at roughly 6.6 percent,  down from 8.3 percent in December 2012 and 7.9 percent in December 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month. That data also show a national unemployment rate for Blacks at 12.1 percent and reveals that unemployment rates overall are down from last year in 42 states, coupled with increases in two states and Puerto Rico, and no changes at all in nine states. 

The national poverty rate is interestingly stagnant at 15 percent, with figures that double for Blacks.
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