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
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment