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BY THE MIDDLE of the 1960s, it had become obvious that the state of the African American underclass in the United States needed to be addressed. Measures were required to attempt to mend some of the problems that African Americans faced. The American public had become exposed to a new civil rights movement with leaders rallying black masses to take action against an oppressive and racist society. A sympathetic President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, in an attempt to help eradicate acts of racial discrimination, but it seemed primarily to address overt acts of personal prejudice.

Affirmative action programs have their legal basis in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although the first executive order enforcing affirmative action was ...

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