Women's Role In The Civil Rights Movement

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The U.S. Civil Rights Movement beginning in the mid 1950s was a social movement for equal rights for African American people. Many women took on substantial roles during the Civil Rights Movement that often went unheard of and uncredited. As leading activist, these women put together civil rights organizations, helped desegregate schools, and played an active role in the black communities. Although their efforts to progress the movement were overshadowed by men, it is important to understand and recognize the differences that these women made in the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. The movement took place all across the United States, but mainly in the Southern states, which were also the last states to abolish slavery. Numerous women …show more content…
The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.” –Ella Baker NAACP
Her family background of social consciousness is what steered her involvement in the movement. Although she was an influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement, her name is still not widely known because women were not taken seriously as political figures during this time.
This individual worked alongside NAACP activist, Ella Baker, and other students where they founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in April of 1960. As a Chicago native, Diane Nash was not accustomed to southern racial segregation. It was when she became a student in Nashville, Tennessee where she would experience her first dose of segregation. She would soon protest in sit-ins at lunch counters in hopes to desegregate the state of Tennessee. Nash alongside hundreds of other black and white college students would organize and lead many of the protests. As their impact grew stronger, the students were heard by Nashville Mayor Ben West; who soon called for the desegregation of the lunch counters, –making Nashville the first southern city to desegregate the counters. Nash and the other students set an exemplary example of Ella Bakers idea of group action
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As the daughter of a sharecroppers, Hamer would begin working the fields at a young age. Her family struggled financially and often went hungry. She knew the struggle and worked hard just to get by until she would soon attend a protest meeting that changed the course of her life. It was there that she met civil rights activists that encouraged other African Americans to exercise their right to vote, as well as prepared her in becoming an active member in progressing voter registration efforts. Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for equal rights and became a member of the SNCC and played an active role in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Along her journey she was subject to arrest, beatings, and also being shot at, but none of these misfortunes hindered her participation in the