Septima Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine, Victoria Gray, and other women activists made significant contributions to civil rights campaigns by utilizing local organizations and institutional networks to mobilize working-class black southerners.
These women also maintained the important linkages between local movement organizations and the national civil rights leadership. To a very great extent their success as civil rights activists was closely related to their family background and personal experiences that prepared them well to assume responsible leadership positions. Historical accounts of the Civil Rights Movement of the s and s have generally focused on the roles and contributions of male leaders and the nationally oriented civil rights organizations that they led.
It has been only within the past decade that historians turned to consider the important roles played by female activists in the struggle for social change.
What was it like for these women to live their lives? How did they think about what they were doing? How did they think about themselves, their public and They sometimes placed themselves Clair Richardson was a militant black leader, who in her refusal in and to accept nonviolence as the primary strategy in civil rights protests, foretold the death of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement most closely associated with Martin Luther King, Jr. Although in recent years discussions of Gloria Richardson and her In June , James Meredith, the first black student ever to enroll at the University of Mississippi, began his historic march against fear across the state of Mississippi.
Just a few days after the march began, Meredith was shot by a sniper and had to be hospitalized. As the marchers made their way across This essay grows out of two concerns: Malcolm X has not been the subject of a black feminist critique in the way that Richard Wright or Miles Davis have been. When I looked to black feminist thinkers who have written on Malcolm, few For black youth, who increasingly found themselves trapped in overcrowded northern ghettos, many of the old movement slogans and ideas—particularly nonviolence as a philosophy—were becoming obsolete.
Many African American women learned important lessons from their experiences in the movement and applied them in the social and political arenas. And in the early morning hours of August 27, , she ran. About 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing barely pounds, Joan pronounced Jo-Ann Little was black, female, and poor. Little would later explain that the stabbing of Alligood was an act of resistance and self-defense.
Moreover, she insisted that when she fled the jail she did not realize Alligood was dying. Then the Negro race enters with me. Arguably, one of the most potent legislative outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement of the s and s was the Voting Rights Act of While, for example, socioeconomic indicators such as the median income and the poverty rate demonstrate only murky progress at best in altering the relative condition of the black population as compared to the white population, the election of blacks to public office, largely as a result of the Voting Rights Act, demonstrates one straight line of upward growth Figure 1.
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Of the many worthy contenders to choose from, I particularly like Lewis's biography of Martin Luther King , because it was one of the first to take on the task after King's assassination in While sympathetic to King, the book is not afraid to point to his shortcomings. Revealingly — and perhaps a reflection of King's acceptance into the pantheon of American heroes — subsequent editions have dropped the word "critical" from the title. For many years, women's roles in the civil rights movement were neglected.
Ransby's study charts the remarkable life of activist Ella Baker, who played an influential organising and leadership role over many decades and helped establish the foundations for King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Ransby offers a fascinating portrait of one of the movement's forgotten true heroes. Rustin is another previously overlooked figure.
Gay, pacifist, communist and Quaker, Bayard Rustin was largely kept out of view so as not to attract unwelcome publicity. He was pivotal in organising the March on Washington and he was a close advisor to King on nonviolence.
D'Emilio's gender studies perspective broaches the touchy subject of sexuality in civil rights studies. In the s, many organisations contributed to the success of the civil rights movement. A youth-based movement, SNCC led daring direct action protests such as sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and freedom rides. Carson, a former SNCC member and now the director of the Martin Luther King Jr Papers project , skillfully offers scholarly insight combined with first-hand experience.
Chafe's book was one of the first to examine the civil rights movement from a "bottom up" grassroots perspective. He places the protests that launched the sit-in movement in a much broader context and a longer history of black activism.
This was the first book I read as a graduate student, and it provided a model and inspiration for my own PhD thesis, which took the Little Rock school integration crisis of as its point of departure. In recent years, historians have begun to examine the civil rights movement within the context of international relations.
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African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, By Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, ''Doers ofthe Word": African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North, Last year the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday with a march led by the first African-American president. The U.S. has come a long way, but with voting rights still being contested in Alabama, North Carolina and other states, it's clear the movement's history is still being written.
The civil rights movement for African Americans did not end with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in For the last fifty years, the African American community has faced challenges related to both past and current discrimination; progress on both fronts remains slow, uneven, and often frustrating. Available rare books, used books and second hand books of the title "African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, (Blacks in the Diaspora)" from Rosalyn Terborg-Penn are completely listed.