The Civil Rights Movement was the fight for equality in several sectors of African-American lives in the United States. The movement took place from approximately 1954 to 1968 and tackled segregation, housing, and voting rights after the Civil War made slavery illegal. While slavery was abolished, the lives of white Americans and Black Americans had little in common. The right to live in certain neighborhoods, eat at restaurants, ride the bus, and go to schools were all segregated. Black Americans could not go to many places, and live in many places, that white Americans were able to. Without being able to vote, the concerns of Black Americans fell on deaf ears. While peaceful and nonviolent protests were how the movement fought back against inequality, protestors were met with violence. One particular incident is referred to as Bloody Sunday, where protestors were brutally attacked as they marched to Selma. Without the Civil Rights Movement, Black Americans would not have the liberties that they do today.
Women’s Role In The Civil Rights Movement
While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, women were also a large part of the efforts to create monumental change. “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul,” Coretta Scott King said in one of her famous quotes. Women walked hand in hand for change as they organized protests, founded charitable organizations for the advancement of Black youth, and strategized plans for the future while still being disrespected, with many of their achievements silenced.
“I truly don’t believe the younger generation understands the sacrifices my generation made, and part of that is my generation’s decision not to put those sacrifices in front of them,” former NAACP chairman Myrlie Evers-Williams said. “We didn’t want them to see what might happen to them. And part of it was probably battle fatigue.”
Take a look below at five great women who impacted the Civil Rights Movement: