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Major Features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Most of us are well aware of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but most of us have never really read it's provisions (much like how most of use know about the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, but have never read these documents either). It's well worth it to consider the 1964 Civil Rights Act's actual provisions. 

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(Public Law 88-352)

Title I—Voting Rights
  • Barred unequal application of voter registration requirements, but did not abolish literacy tests sometimes used to disqualify African Americans and poor white voters. 
Title II—Public Accommodations
  • Outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining "private," thereby allowing a loophole. 
Title III—Desegregation of Public Facilities
  • Permitted Justice Department suits to secure desegregation of certain public facilities.
Title IV—Desegregation of Public Education
  • Encouraged the desegregation of public schools and authorized the U. S. Attorney General to file suits to force desegregation, but did not authorize busing as a means to overcome segregation based on residence.
Title V—Civil Rights Commission
  • Addressed procedures for the Commission, broadened its duties, and extended its life through January 1968.
Title VI—Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs
  • Authorized but did not require withdrawal of federal funds from programs which practiced discrimination. 
Title VII—Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Outlawed discrimination in employment in any business exceeding twenty five people and creates an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to review complaints, although it lacked meaningful enforcement powers.
Title VIII—Registration and Voting Statistics
  • Directed the Census Bureau to collect registration and voting statistics based on race, color and national origin but provided that individuals could not be compelled to disclose such information.
Title IX—Intervention and Removal of Cases
  • Made reviewable in high federal courts the action of federal district courts in remanding a civil rights case to state court and authorized the Attorney General to intervene in certain private suits.
Title X—Community Relations Service
  • Created the Service to aid communities in resolving disputes relating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, or national origin.
Title XI—Miscellaneous

SOURCE: Congress and the Nation, 1945-64 (Congressional Quarterly Service, 1965): 1638-41.

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