Two Kansas City area civil rights experts reflect on 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights law

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Gwen Grant, Kansas City's Urban League President, and Anita Gorman, a pioneer during the Civil Rights Movement share similar views about the 50th anniversary of the bill becoming law.  They are pleased with progress; but both believe there is more work to be done to achieve equality.

In Grant's office at the Urban League Headquarters, there is a picture of Martin Luther King at the March on Washington.

"I think it's important for us to pause and remember that it was 50 years ago today that Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill into law," said Grant.

"We have made progress; the Jim Crow laws are gone; but the racial divide still exists when it comes to employment and wages," Grant explained.

She cited recent studies by the National Urban League that unemployment rate is higher for blacks than whites and the income for blacks is lower than whites. 

"We  are working with corporate America and businesses to try to resolve these disparities," Grant added.

Anita Gorman, a legend in the Kansas City Civil Rights Movement, agrees that more needs to be done.

"We've made tremendous progress in creating laws to block open discrimination and we should celebrate that," said Gorman.

She quickly added that more needs to be done to create more opportunity for the poor to have an equal opportunity for economic empowerment. 

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