• Affirmative Action in the U.S.A.

    A History and Timeline of Affirmative Action

    After an article by Borgna Brunner and Beth Rowen

    Source : http://www.infoplease.com/spot/affirmative1.html


    March 6, 1961

    Executive Order 10925 makes the first mention of "affirmative action"…

    July 2, 1964

    Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson…

    June 4, 1965

    Johnson speech defining concept of affirmative action…

    Sept. 24, 1965

    Executive Order 11246 enforces affirmative action for the first time…


    The 50-year history of affirmative action has been both praised and strongly criticized as an answer to racial inequality. The term "affirmative action" was first introduced by President J.-F. Kennedy in 1961 as a method of redressing discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and constitutional guarantees. It was developed and enforced for the first time by President L.-B. Johnson. "This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights," Johnson asserted. "We seek… not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result."

    A Temporary Measure to Level the Playing Field

    Focusing on education and employment, affirmative action policies required that active measures be taken to ensure that all minorities enjoyed the same opportunities for promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid that had been restricted to white citizens. From the outset, affirmative action was envisioned as a temporary remedy that would end once there was a "level playing field" for all Americans.

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