"The Civil Rights Act laid the foundation for a sea change in the position of black Americans relative to the rest of American society. It was our intention to create an affirmative obligation in white businesses and institutions, to remove the barriers that had served to exclude black across America; the visible signs of exclusion began to come down; signs were removed from waiting rooms and water fountains and seats became available at lunch counters. The invisible barriers became the subject of judicial review as well. Few people now remember when want ads were segregated by race and gender; when black police officers were forbidden to arrest whites; when an interracial meeting could not be held in an Atlanta hotel. These facts of life in the 1960’s were changed by the Civil Rights Act.

We did not intend for black Americans to assimilate into white society and become culturally indistinguishable from whites. Nor did we expect that integration would eliminate the need for black institutions. Rather, it was clear that white America controlled resources to which black Americans had little access. For decades, black Georgians paid taxes to support universities like the Georgia Institute of Technology, yet black students were never admitted. Today, Georgia Tech has a thriving black alumni association and graduates more black engineers than any other institution in the world.

Integration is not about rubbing shoulders with whites; it’s about becoming engineers."

Ambassador Andrew Young from his book. "An Easy Burden." Dedicated this day to the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King

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