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and Special Collections Dept.
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.