On July 2, 1965, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act went into effect. This provision prohibited job discrimination in private business. In an executive order issued in 1965, President Johnson used the expression "affirmative action." Such affirmative action, Johnson wrote, was to be taken to ensure that applicants and employees "are treated without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." The president's speech further elaborated the idea behind affirmative action: "You do not take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and ... bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, 'You are free to compete with all the others' and justly believe that you have been completely fair."
On August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This piece of legislation eased the registering of black voters in many Southern counties by eliminating voter examinations. Armed with the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1965, African Americans, and in fact all Americans, were equipped to pursue full civil rights for all citizens.