Wilmington City Council Pauses to Remember the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Civil Rights Act

Posted on  07/03/2014 10:09 am

Council Members pause to remember Civil Rights Act anniversary.President Lyndon Baines Johnson Signed the Legislation on July 2, 1964

Wilmington City Council Members Darius Brown, Sherry Dorsey Walker, Hanifa Shabazz, and Nnamdi Chukwuocha took time yesterday in Wilmington to represent City Council at a ceremony commemorating the date on which the Civil Rights Act was signed into law 50 years ago in 1964. Yesterday’s event, held in Freedom Plaza on French Street, was organized by the Delaware Human Relations Commission.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the legislation into law at a White House ceremony. It was intended to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and end the unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in public accommodations. President John F. Kennedy announced on the night of June 11, 1963 that he would send legislation to Congress making it illegal to deny service to people of color at any public accommodations venue. Ironically, on that same evening, civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, further demonstrating the state of race relations in the United States.

Council Member Darius Brown said yesterday that July 2, 1964 was a marker in time that was intended to usher in an era of fairness, equality and opportunity for all people and especially for people of color. “What was expected and hoped for by many people at the time, and what actually happened in this country are two vastly different stories,” said Brown. “Our resolve as individuals and our continued push for tolerance and respect for each other will eventually get us to the point where the principles of fairness, equality and opportunity hold true throughout our country. That goal is worth our energy and efforts.”