Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Opened the Door for True Rights for All Americans

Brooklyn, NY July 2nd, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibited segregation on the grounds of race, religion or national origin at all places of public accommodation, including courthouses, parks, restaurants, theaters, sports arenas and hotels. Minorities could no longer be denied service simply based on the color of their skin.

The act also barred race, religious, national origin and gender discrimination by employers and labor unions, and created an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the power to file lawsuits on behalf of aggrieved workers.[1]

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was very timely and significant" said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte." The outlawing of segregation in public places was huge, but it also laid the ground work for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which would remove the barriers of voting in this country to all citizens. It would also lead to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which would play a very large role in future laws against discrimination. This Act was part of the legacy and vision of President John F. Kennedy, and was a positive step in the direction for this country during this time."

The EEOC was instrumental in the following:

  • the Pregnancy Discrimination Act which made it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth; 
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and its amendments, that prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older;
  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability in both the public and private sector, excluding the Federal government;
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, that prohibit employment discrimination against Federal employees with disabilities.
  • Title IX of the Education Act of 1972 forbade gender discrimination in education programs, including athletics that received Federal dollars. [2]