Civil Rights Act of 1964
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
Slavery, segregation, poverty, and racism have shaped the health status of African Americans throughout American history. One hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, blacks were still denied the right to vote in some states and received an inferior education in most. Barriers to public health services and hospital care contributed to excess illness and death. Historically, African Americans have used the public policy process to facilitate the social changes necessary to win the full rights of citizenship. This process peaked during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, probably the most progressive legislation in American history. The act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, public schools, and health care facilities. It also made possible the Medicaid-Medicare legislation of 1965, which led to improved health status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority groups.
STEPHEN B. THOMAS
(SEE ALSO: African Americans; Community and Migrant Health Centers; Community Organization; Enabling Factors; Ethnicity and Health; Inequalities in Health; Landmark Public Health Laws and Court Decisions; Politics of Public Health; Public Health and the Law)
Saraf, J. (1997). "Civil Rights Movement." In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.