The Role of African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement Essay

The Role of African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement Essay

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The African American Civil Rights Movement was a series of protests in the United States South from approximately 1955 through 1968. The overall goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to achieve racial equality before the law. Protest tactics were, overall, acts of civil disobedience. Rarely were they ever intended to be violent. From sit-ins to boycotts to marches, the activists involved in the Civil Rights Movement were vigilant and dedicated to the cause without being aggressive. While African-American men seemed to be the leaders in this epic movement, African-American women played a huge role behind the scenes and in the protests.
When discussing the American Civil Rights Movement, the names that seem to come up are those of prominent black men. While these men did enormous amounts of good during this movement, there are many women who seem to be poorly represented or credited. Black women had a huge amount of influence during the Civil Rights Movement. While many of the protests and movements were led by men, the women were behind the scenes organizing and promoting and popularizing the ideas themselves. Many women were heavily involved in political organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and many others. Even if they were not directly involved in organizations, however, many black women became informal leaders of movements and/or enthusiastic participants. A few famous example of black women’s involvement are: Citizenship Schools in South Carolina, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, And various women’s involvement in political groups and organizations.
One of the most influential women i...


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...rica? Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party." Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965. By Vicki L. Crawford, Jacqueline Anne. Rouse, and Barbara Woods. Vol. 16. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Pub., 1990. 27-37. Print.

Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson, and David J. Garrow. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: the Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson. Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 1987. Print.

Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: a Radical Democratic Vision. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2003. Print.

Standley, Anne. "The Role of Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement." Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965. By Vicki L. Crawford, Jacqueline Anne. Rouse, and Barbara Woods. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Pub., 1990. 183-202. Print.

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