Significance Of The Voting Rights Act Of 1965

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In the wake of a powerful movement like the Selma march, LBJ understood the importance and significance that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would hold; his signing in of the law put into place one of the most effective and favorable civil rights acts. Prior to act, although the 15th Amendment allowed for all men to vote, there were rigid literacy tests or high fees in place to discourage African Americans from trying to involve themselves in politics. By outlawing these unfair practices, LBJ was able to level the playing field for minorities and give them an equal opportunity in the vocalization of their concerns. Martin Luther King, Jr. felt the monumentality of the act, telling Johnson, “‘you have created a second emancipation’” (Califano …show more content…
Forty seven years later, in 2012, 62% of eligible black voters voted in the presidential election as a part of the 56.5% of the total population (newsroom). Although the 3.5% of increased participation from the black voters seem to minimize the impact of the act, the increase of black representation in politics does not. When the fear of lynchings and brutal beatings were subdued by the act, African Americans were able to find representation that they felt best understood their predicament. Prior to the act, the total number of black elected officials was 300 with only 79 in the South. By 2001, this number increased 30-fold with 10,000 officials in the whole nation with 6,000 in the South (Califano 4). The freedom to vote without fear exponentially increased the number of people who could speak on the behalf of a minority group in America. Furthermore, the year 1965 proved to be a year that would continue to strike against the notions of a ‘white-centered America’ when the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was …show more content…
A total of 153,200 immigrants came from Asia, Vietnam having the smallest amount with only 300 people. From African countries, there was a total of 14,100 people (immigration p872). These numbers were based off the quota system and clearly shows a preference for Europeans and also an indication of which people were most restricted at the time. In the time period with two major conflicts, the Cold War and the Vietnam War, it was the people of those two nations that faced more hardships to enter the U.S. In the decade the act was passed, 1961-1970, there were 1,123,500 immigrants from Europe. Once again, the least number of people came from the Soviet Union with 2,500 immigrants. The amount of immigrants from Asian countries nearly tripled as 427,600 people arrived in America. Vietnamese immigrants, still yielding the smallest amount of immigrants, grew exponentially with a total of 4,300 immigrants. There was a total of 29,000 people from the African countries (immigration p872). The decade after this time period, 1971-1980, proves to be the most telling with the shift in immigration trends. During this decade, only 800,400 immigrants are from European countries and instead of the Soviet Union producing the least amount of immigrants, it is Norway with

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