President John F. Kennedy proposed the initial civil rights act. He was sympathetic to African-American citizens and understood that black people deserved to be treated equal, as they demanded. Kennedy also recognized that racial discrimination in the United States embarrassed America internationally. His support of civil rights gained him considerable support among Northern liberals and moderates and millions of African-American voters. Kennedy also worried about losing the support of white Southern Democrats. Even though he faced strong Southern opposition, the president finally proposed civil rights legislation to Congress. Sadly, Kennedy was assassinated before he himself could pass the bill.
By Christine Edwards