Profile America: Liberty and Justice 

Sunday, July 3 — Befitting the run up to the nation’s celebration of freedom, one of the most important pieces of legislation in our history came just before Independence Day in 1964. The Civil Rights Act swept away Jim Crow laws by prohibiting discrimination based on race in all accommodations and facilities open to the public, as well as employment, union membership, and voter registration. Shortly after the Civil Rights Act became law, nearly 42 percent of the black population lived in poverty. Today, that figure is just over 27 percent. In 1964, less than 20 percent of black adults had a high school diploma. Now, over 84 percent of the black population over the age of 25 have at least a high school diploma, and nearly 20 percent have a bachelor’s or advanced degree. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

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