Thursday, April 24, 2014

Michelle Kells & La Voz Newspaper "Civil Rights Turns 50"

Michelle Kells forwarded this article from the Denver newspaper "La Voz" today "Civil Rights Act Turns 50." This is an important historic moment in U.S Civil rights history. The reporter has an insightful recognition of the role/significance of this legislation for women and Latinos (and especially women of color). From the article:

“We could not have endured much longer had the ’64 signing not occurred,” says University of New Mexico historical writer and English professor Dr. Michelle Hall-Kells. The massive and growing resistance to the status quo, including Freedom Summer, was not going away. “It pressed LBJ into doing the right thing.”

Hall-Kells says too many of the epic gains that resulted from the Civil Rights Act are today taken for granted. “I can’t imagine a 2104 without a 1964 moment,” says the UNM professor.” Without those formative policy changes our civic imagination would be so limited.”

Perhaps the biggest gain, Hall-Kells says, have been in gender equality. Women a half century ago were simply not part of the discussion in terms of career opportunities. Today, while still not exactly equal partners in many fields, woman have climbed to the top in finance, politics, science and technology and so many other disciplines once the sole purview of men. But much work remains. “The groups that are still struggling and have not benefited are women of color. There is a lot of unfinished work.”

La Voz  Bilingue (Denver, CO) 

A thank you to Christine Sierra for connecting La Voz reporter Ernest Gurule with me last week for an interview on Good Friday and including Latinos and women under the rhetorical umbrella of 1964 Civil Rights Act stakeholders.

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