In the 1960's, there were many civil rights leaders who believed in equality for all people, of all colors, of all races. The most famous of these is Martin Luther King Jr. But there was another leader that we do not hear as much about. His name is Robert Kennedy. He played a major role in the fight for civil rights and contributed his life to that fight.
In 1954, the supreme court decided to order integration in public schools. In 1955-1956, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was held. In 1957, a civil rights act was passed, and stretched by a second act in 1964. It was intended to secure equal rights for southern blacks in the area of all public facilities. In 1961, Kennedy became Attorney General under his brother John Kennedy. In this capacity, he was also a close advisor to his brother. After JFK was killed, Robert Kennedy became senator from New York in 1964, and that was when he became even more involved in civil rights matters.
Robert Kennedy wanted to maintain order of the FBI, to get information on blacks voting in the south. The Rackets Committee had given Robert Kennedy a favorable reputation in the south where the whites live. But he knew that it would not last. Robert Kennedy fought his whole life trying to save the rights of the blacks. Robert Kennedy then came up with a compromise bill that stated that blacks can take the stand in court.
On October 29,1964, the Civil Rights bill was approved by a bipartisan vote. The next project was the Voting Rights Bill. Robert Kennedy wanted to have complete control over the FBI to get information on blacks voting in the South. His previous involvement with the Rackets Committee had given Robert Kennedy a favorable reputation in the South where the whites lived. But he knew that it would not last. Robert Kennedy fought his whole life trying to save the rights of the blacks. In 1968, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. For the past 30 years, Robert Kennedy has not been recognized enough as a true civil rights leader.
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Sources: World Book Encyclopedia Copy Right in 1991 Volume 7
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times Volume 1 Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, 1978