In the essay “President Kennedy and Civil Rights,” the author describes the life of the only Catholic President of United States who is known for his gallantry, bravery, and his obligation towards civil rights and also his efforts during the cold war…
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Author Shelly Sommer presents John F. Kennedy in his book, “John F Kennedy: His life and legacy” in many roles such as a boy, a young adolescent, a hero of wars, a husband, a great politician, and finally the youngest President of America. But the question should be raised that whether John F. Kennedy really cared about civil rights or it was just to defeat Nixon in office and be the President of America? The votes of African American people were as much important for him as the whites and so President Kennedy has to make his way to the office anyhow. When two African American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood decided to take admission in the University of Alabama in summers of 1963, President John F. Kennedy- a spirited and energetic leader of that time led the movement of Civil rights to let these students enter the university. He challenged the southern courts to take notice of the situation and take into consideration this issue to grant equal rights to African Americans as well. On the evening of September 30, 1963, President delivered a speech in which he issued a declaration that Mississippi should abolish segregation and let African American students attend the college. ...
He asked for a federal legislature for the rights of African Americans and thus his words were transformed into actions after his death when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted. ( Blaustein, Albert P, and Robert L. Zangrando. Civil Rights and the American Negro: A Documentary History). Critics of Kennedy Supporting Civil Rights’ Some people, however, believed that John F. Kennedy was not much interested in civil rights; rather he was famous for Cold War issues and Cuban Missile Crisis. This belief was not pointless. Kennedy’s attitudes towards Civil Rights before the election campaign proved it to be true. He voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 by Eisenhower. Kennedy wanted to serve the Democrats in the elections of 1960s, and to do so he has to oppose the bill as Democrats were in the opposition to the bill at that time. Finally, Kennedy won the elections as leader of the Democratic Party in 1960 and defeated Nixon. This act of Kennedy proves that all he did was his personal gains and he has no interests in the rights or equality of African Americans. Kennedy suddenly converted or changed his point of view when he was nominated as a candidate from Democratic Party for the Presidential Elections of 1960. He delivered speeches promising equal rights to African Americans and preserving their dignity and sovereignty. Historians are confused over this abrupt change in the attitude. Supporters of Kennedy see the antagonism toward the Civil Act of 1957 as a political necessity.
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