Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday. And February is Black History Month. The Civil Rights Movement played a significant role in shaping and advancing the rights and opportunities of African Americans in the United States. Now is a good time to take the Kids to see an exhibit on the Movement.
The Movement began in the 1950s.. Activists and supporters sought to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans through nonviolent protest, legal action, and civil disobedience. Sadly, racism persists a half century later.
Many of the leaders and activists of the Civil Rights Movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are celebrated and honored during Black History Month for their contributions to the struggle for racial equality and justice. The Civil Rights Movement led to several major legislative victories, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which helped to end legal segregation and discrimination against African Americans and other minorities.
There were countless African American women who were also involved in the civil rights movement, and many of their contributions have often been overshadowed. Because of what this month represents and the importance of commemorating civil rights activism, we highlight this article created by Maryville University which examines the role of women in American civil rights history. Although not always in the spotlight, women played a significant role in the American civil rights movement, contributing to the fight for equal rights and justice for themselves and marginalized groups. These women were leaders, activists, and organizers who worked tirelessly to bring about change and were instrumental in shaping the direction of the movement.
The article highlights some of the key figures in the movement, including Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Septima Clark, and Ella Baker, all who helped to shape the direction of the movement and fought for the rights of marginalized groups, such as African Americans and women.
Parks is perhaps the most well-known female figure in the civil rights movement. She is famous for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, which sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and led to the desegregation of public transportation in the city. Parks was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and worked to promote voting rights and other civil rights issues.
Fannie Lou Hamer was another important figure in the civil rights movement. She was a civil rights activist and leader in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which worked to increase voter registration among African Americans in the state. Hamer was also a powerful orator and advocated for the rights of poor and working-class people.
Ella Baker was also a key figure in the civil rights movement. She worked behind the scenes to organize and coordinate the activities of various civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Baker was a strong advocate for grassroots organizing and believed that change could be brought about through the collective efforts of ordinary people.
The article also mentions several other notable women who played important roles in the civil rights movement, such as Dorothy Height, who worked to promote racial equality and the rights of women and minorities, and Septima Clark, who helped to establish the Citizenship Education Program which aimed to help African Americans to pass the literacy test required to register to vote.