The lack of an adequate education denies the Negro a chance to get a decent job.
President John F. Kennedy, 1963
In far too many ways American Negroes have been another nation, deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the door of opportunity closed to hope.
President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965
The period of civil disobedience and militant confrontation was born during the months following the Grand March on Washington, DC in August 1963. African Americans were particularly sensitive to the fact that 1963 marked the centennial of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The United States Civil Rights Commission, which was established under the 1957 Civil Rights Act, celebrated the occasion with its report to President Kennedy.
The report was devoted to extensive and comprehensive historical review of the role and status of African Americans from the colonial period to the mid-20th century. The report saw the possibility of the existence of a much more complex range of problems and potential than were apparent. The report concluded that the practice of a segregated system