90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Civil Rights Act At 50, And Beyond

Voting rights, gay rights, immigrant rights, social segregation. Fifty years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

In this July 2, 1964 file photo, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Standing from left, are Sen. Everett Dirksen, R-Ill.; Rep. Clarence Brown, R-Ohio; Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D-Minn.; Rep. Charles Halleck, R-Ind.; Rep. William McCullough, R-Ohio; and Rep. Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y. (AP)

In this July 2, 1964 file photo, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Standing from left, are Sen. Everett Dirksen, R-Ill.; Rep. Clarence Brown, R-Ohio; Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D-Minn.; Rep. Charles Halleck, R-Ind.; Rep. William McCullough, R-Ohio; and Rep. Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y. (AP)

Fifty years ago today, July 2, President Lyndon Baines Johnson – LBJ – signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  JFK had raised the call for it, then been assassinated.  In the nation’s grief, as Martin Luther King, Jr. led protests across the South, Johnson pushed it through.  After a century of Jim Crow that had cut African-Americans off from hotels, restaurants, stores and much more, the Civil Rights Act said no, and launched an era of reform.  Today, the talk is of voting rights, gay rights, immigrant rights, inequality and, yes, still race.  This hour On Point: Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act, where we stand.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Author of “Indomitable Will: LBJ In the Presidency.” (@MarkKUpdegrove)

Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. (@barbs73)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Equality still elusive 50 years after Civil Rights Act  – “Fifty years later, on the eve of Monday’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the battle to end overt discrimination has been far more successful than the effort to attain economic, educational or social equality. Blacks have made huge strides in high school education but still lag in college graduation rates. Their incomes have risen and poverty rates have declined, but a mammoth wealth gap remains, along with persistently high unemployment rates.”

Huffington Post: The Major Disadvantage Facing Black Students, Even In Kindergarten — “Sixty years after the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education integrated the nation’s classrooms, black and white students still largely attend different schools, even during their earliest years. A recent analysis from liberal think tank Economic Policy Institute (EPI) outlines the severe segregation that exists among kindergarten classrooms. ”

Los Angeles Times: The cross-racial, cross-party push to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — “It is a measure of how desperately this country needed the 1964 Civil Rights Act that when John F. Kennedy finally proposed it in June 1963 — and when Lyndon B. Johnson signed it 50 years ago this week — only five of the 535 members of Congress were black. Nearly a century after the end of the Civil War, the promise of emancipation was still unmet and legal equality — in the voting booth, in public accommodations and in employment — remained a dream deferred for millions of black Americans, especially in the South.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

 
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment