Joshua Weitz is a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network
By this expert
On June 2, 1965, under a mandate established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Congress created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce federal anti-discrimination laws related to employment. The expectation was that African Americans would be prime beneficiaries of the EEOC. There was no assumption that the EEOC, on its own, could reverse deep-rooted employment discrimination against blacks. But in the late 1960s there was optimism that, in combination with equal educational opportunity and the strong demand for unionized workers in the well-paid manufacturing jobs that marked the post-World War II decades, the EEOC could help to ensure that an ever-increasing number of blacks would ascend to the American middle class.