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African American Activism and Identity
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Fair and Equal Employment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race and color as well as national origin, sex, or religion. Its passage created a mandate for desegregation in cities and towns across the country, and Boston was no exception. But desegregation of Boston's municipal workforce, despite federal law and the city's massive demographic changes, came slowly and not without incident. The police force and the firefighting forces were particular sources of concern. In both instances, activist groups formed to advocate equal opportunity hiring and fair treatment.