Men tend to get all of the credit for everything, especially the Civil Rights Movement. While Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Malcolm X are known as the faces of the movement, black history is brimming with women whose contributions are equally noteworthy. Here’s our list of black women who helped to advance the race under the most challenging of circumstances.
Fannie Lou Hamer was easily one of the hardest-working women during the Civil Rights Movement. She was a plain-spoken and devout woman known for her fiery speeches at the various civil rights conferences she attended. Hamer was critical in organizing the Mississippi Freedom Summer, a 1964 effort to register as many black voters as possible. At the time, voter registration was a dangerous task that could easily get one killed by white segregationists determined to keep blacks powerless. Later, she reflected on her fearless work:
Ida B. Wells was a journalist and civil rights activist back in the late 1800s, when blacks could still remember being slaves. Wells, who was born just before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, is credited for documenting lynchings in the South and researching how white segregationists used violent methods to keep African Americans “in their place.”
Wells was also known for being outspoken and unafraid to challenge whites, an attitude that could have easily gotten her lynched. During an 1884 train ride, Wells was asked to give up her seat to a white passenger and refused, which occurred more than 70 years before Rosa Parks. After the conductors dragged her out of the train car, she sued the train company — and won!
Though the ruling was overturned, Wells proved that she could unabashedly stare racism dead in the eye.
4) Sojourner Truth
An abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth escaped from slavery in her late 20s with her infant son. At the time, Truth was forced to leave her other children behind, and one of them was sold to another slave master in Alabama. Never backing down, Truth took the master to court, won the case and got her son back. She is one of the first black women to take a white man to court and win. Known for her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” Truth spent the rest of her free life speaking at anti-slavery and women’s suffrage conferences and was one of black America’s first-leading women who spoke against slavery long before the system ended.
I was conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say – I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.
7) Elizabeth Eckford
A member of the Little Rock Nine, Elizabeth Eckford was one of nine high school students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. On the tumultuous day, racist white crowds accosted Eckford and the rest of the teens, making their first day of school one of the worst educational experiences any child could ever have.
But what puts Eckford on this list is her steely resolve in this iconic photo. She was as solid as a rock.
8) Mary McLeod Bethune
How many women, of any race, will be able to say that they founded a nationally recognized university that flourished well after their death? Mary McLeod Bethune is one of them. Like many universities founded not too long after slavery, Bethune Cookman-University began as a school that taught basic math and reading and eventually grew into a college over the years.
Now the university has a sizable sports program, a graduate school and thousands of alumni who have Mrs. Bethune to thank for their upwardly mobile careers and lifestyles.
Oprah Winfrey will always be remembered for having the strongest grip on white female television viewers ever. A dark-skinned black woman who struggled with fluctuating weight issues defied the stereotypical notions of what it takes to dominate prime-time television. There are very few people, of any color, who can make an up-and-coming author or business person an instant millionaire just by saying of their product, “I like it.” Now that’s power.
10) Women of the Civil Rights Movement
Social activist Julian Bond says of women during the Civil Rights Movement:
There’s a Chinese saying, ‘Women hold up half the world.’ In the case of the Civil Rights Movement, it’s probably three-quarters of the world.
And he’s right. In an Msnbc.com article, civil rights leaders from that era admit that women were marginalized within the movement. For example, when major speeches took place, you seldom heard a female voice. The names of women who should be memorialized will likely never be known.
So to those women who went unrecognized for their laborious efforts to perfect America, we say thank you.
Did we miss anyone? Feel free to recommend some women who made the race proud and America better.
4. The changes I have made meant I had to shed more than just pounds, I had to shed people too...#kingdomminded #destiny #peace #equallyyoked #likeminded #sucessful #changed #iamnotthesame #dontjudgeabookbyitscover #faith #newfriends #christianhttps://www.instagram.com/p/BCnbJ8UA1ow/?tagged=equallyyoked
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5. 🙏📖❤️👫Willingly means that it's not forced. 💯Studying God's word together brings you closer together in Christ. #Oneness #patientlywaiting #datingadvice #divineheartcouples #Jesus #godlyrelationships #marriagegoals #Relationshipgoals #Proverbs31Woman #JesusChrist #realrelationshipgoals #Faith #courtship #christiancouples #BlessedCouples #hopefulromantic #DaughterofaKing #WomanOfGod #godlydating #kingdomminded #KeepGodfirst #prayerworks #powercouplesinChrist #loveoverlust #relationshipquotes #TrustGod #Relationshipgoal #seekYefirst #equallyyoked #GodAboveAll
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6. Join us tonight for Bible Study at 7 p.m. There is some understanding we must have and some growing we must do together to properly grow the Kingdom of God!!! #partnership #corporate #corporaterelationship #equallyyoked #together #forever #understanding #relationships #Kingdom #King #JesusisLord #weareHispeople #build #grow #beaministry #fulllife
10. In God's timing, wait on the Lord. #EquallyYoked
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11. #repost Woke up to a short video to watch of @mmoorejr speaking on being #equallyyoked and #soulties. If you haven't seen the video, DM me for the link! #single #married or #engaged ❤️💔💡You may not want to hear this, but before God can "yoke" you to the one you're supposed to be with...you have to break the soul tie with the one you're NOT supposed to be with!Download your copy of #BoazIsDead NOW, the chapter on soul ties alone is worth the read. #LinkInBio #TagAFriend #DoubletapIfYouAgree
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12. I am not looking because I know the guy that God's got for me is on his way and this is a season for Growing as a person . #equallyyoked
18. Goes both ways!! #king #queen #equallyyoked #partnership
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19. #RepostOur aim is conformity to Christ (becoming more like Him, by sanctification, through the Holy Spirit), not focusing on our desires. So if you consider me someone you want to be in a relationship(girls only) with, first consider your relationship with Christ first and not the other way around. #onlyifGodwills #equallyyoked #waitingforher #Histiming #FocusOnHim
21. Exactly! 👏 If I'm #Extraordinaire, I can't settle for ordinary. ✌ #Queen in waiting for her #King. #EquallyYoked (Does he know Jesus?) 👀 #HolyMatrimony 💜
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22. #oh #how #Ilovethis #Yes #love a #strongwoman needs a #strongman #equallyyoked
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23. I Love this! ・・・"I love this quote by Marc Hack, it speaks volumes. Yes, guard your heart, but also allow yourself to be vulnerable enough so that someone can get to know the true you. If they leave, then they were never meant to be a part of your destiny anyway." -#Repost @intentional_u with @repostapp#LoveTalk #LoveMeLikeChristLovedTheChurch #FlawsAndAll #dating #love #relationships #datingwithpurpose #inTENtionalU #teachinglove #relationships #love #wisdom #datingtips #oneday #ordainedbyGod #theone #realrecognizereal #worththewait #soulmatestuff #relationshipgoals #courtship #equallyyoked #reallove #deepthinker #deepfeeler #Godlydating #loversandfriends #Godlyrelationships #heartchronicles #hopefulromantic
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24. I love this! I want a relationship that's full of purpose and seeks to please God!・・・"Allow your relationship to please God in a loving way. Your relationship can be an example of how God has desired us to love each other. Too often people teach a philosophy of loving self "only." That is a worldly and new age doctrine. The goal is to love self and others. Loving only self-only produces a selfish and un-Godly culture. Lay a foundation of love that inspires people to affect change through love." #Repost @quentinmccall with @repostapp#quentinmccall #love #teachinglove #romance#oneday #ordainedbyGod #theone #realrecognizereal #womanofGod #worththewait #soulmatestuff #DearMr #whenyouknowitsreal #relationshipgoals #courtship #equallyyoked #reallove #deepthinker #deepfeeler #Godlydating #love #loversandfriends #truelove #Godlyrelationships #heartchronicles #hopefulromantic #patientlywaiting #dating #waitonGod
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25. I grew up with a praying mom // And I can honestly say that her prayer life and extraordinary life of faith kept our family together // Today, the importance of a praying woman is overlooked // We are more concerned about cosmetics, shapes, sizes and how successful her career is // But the truth is, all those things will collapse if there is no firm foundation // I cannot overemphasize the importance of being in a relationship with someone who knows how to pray and is spiritually solid // Someone who will not only build you, but also know what to do, and stand when the storms of life come blowing🙌🏽 // Whether it's casual dating, serious dating or marriage // Prayer conquers all🙏🏼 // #EquallyYoked #RelationshipGoals #Spirituality #PrayerChangesThings #Prov31Woman #MotivationMondays #thenapsta #christiancomedy #cleancomedy
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