Who are the Unsung Heroes of The Civil Rights Movement: Black Women

The unsung heroes of the civil rights movement are black women you’ve never heard of (Summary taken from https://usat.ly/2ocv0yR via @usatoday​)

636476452114041373-XXX-AP6311011396

History remembers the male leaders who fought for human rights, but it was women who made so many victories possible.

On that historic August day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. told us his dream. We didn’t get to hear what the women of the civil rights movement dreamed of, because none spoke at length during the official program of the March on Washington.

Women such as:

 

  • Daisy Bates, a leader in the movement to end segregation in Arkansas and guide for the nine students who integrated Little Rock’s Central High in 1958

DC2o1NKXoAAT_M7

  • Ericka Huggins, a former leader in the Black Panther Party, which she said also struggled with sexism.
  • Coretta Scott King, a leader in her own right, used her talent as a singer to raise awareness and funds for her husband’s movement and to advocate for human rights broadly. She was an earlier critic of the Vietnam War than her husband, and persuaded him to speak out against it
  • Members of the Women’s Strike for Peace (see picture above), including Coretta Scott King, participated in a demonstration across from the United Nations in New York

ELLA-BAKER-ELLA-BAKER-15489

  • The political savvy of lifelong activist Ella Baker, one of the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, birthed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the most prominent African American civil rights organization’s of it’s time; and set its agenda. Baker also had pivotal roles in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

636543114429837422-Pauli-Murray

  • Dr. Pauli Murray, the gender non-conforming activist and legal scholar who coined the term “Jane Crow” for the sex discrimination black women faced. Her book States’ Laws on Race and Color has been referred to as the “bible” of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling which declared separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
  • Diane Nash was one of the major organizers of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights marches in 1965. Nash, a co-founder of SNCC, also helped orchestrate the campaign to integrate lunch counters in Nashville in 1960.
  • Dorothy Height, a major leader of her day, served as president of the National Council of Negro Women, and also stood on the platform with King during the March on Washington

Today, there’s a new generation of black female activists fighting for social justice. Three of them — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi — founded and lead Black Lives Matter.

Donna Brazile, a political strategist and former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the nation should be ready for more of them.

“Black women are taking an active role in beginning what I call the next phase of the black political movement, which is to prepare for a century in which the minority citizens of today will become the majority citizens of tomorrow,” she said. “Black women are going to lead that way, but we’re not going to be alone. We’re going to bring as many people with us. Because in moving the country forward, we can leave no one behind.”

Read More at  https://usat.ly/2ocv0yR (via usatoday​)

Faces of Our History: Bayard Rustin

untitled

Bayard Rustin was born on March 17, 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Florence Rustin and Archie Hopkins. Bayard was raised by his mother’s parents Julia & Janifer Rustin. His grandmother Julia was a member of the NAACP, Rustin grew up seeing the widely recognized people who were leaders in the NAACP in his home. This is what spark is interesting in racial discrimination.

In September of 1932, Rustin enter a historically black college named Wilberforce University. There he was active in various campus organizations but was expelled 4 years later for organizing a strike.

Shorty after moving to Harlem in 1937, he was involved in the Scottsboro Boys case. Where 9 young black men in Alabama were accused of raping 2 white women on a train in 1931.

In 1947, Bayard and George Houser organized the Journey of Reconciliation. It was the first of the more commonly known “Freedom Rides”. The were fighting again the Supreme Court ruling Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia that banned racial discrimination in interstate travels. Rustin was jailed for 22 day for violating the states Jim Crow laws.

In 1956 Rustin went to aid Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he started the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He wanted to show Dr. King the tactics he learned while training on nonviolent resistance in India.

Dr. King and Rustin organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Rustin’s time was cut short when he resigned after members had learned about his sexual orientation by a fellow member of SCLC. He found himself being shunned by Civil Rights leaders.

Rustin later on went on to fight for gay rights. In the 1980s he became a public advocate for gay and lesbian rights. In 1986, he cane a speech on behalf of the New York State’s Gay Rights Bill, he speech named “The New Ni**gers Are Gay”.

In the new times where getting married for LGBT community is acceptable, back then Bayard has to find a creative way to make their union legal. He adopted his then partner Walter Naegle.

Bayard Rustin died on August 24, 1987 due to a perforated appendix.

He will be remembered for his silent contributions to the Civil Rights movement. His fight for equality for black people and those in the LGBT community.

Here is a clip of him debating Malcolm X.