Sexism and patriarchy have often erased the role of Black women’s contributions, even though they fought just as hard, if not harder than, the male leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Ella Baker is one of the women who did much of the behind the scenes work during the Civil Rights Movement, yet she is not celebrated in the same capacity as Martin Luther King.
“You didn’t see me on television; you didn’t see news stories about me. 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.”
Another great leader was Fannie Lou Hamer, who was a core organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Hamer was later the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
“Whether you have a Ph.D., or no D, we’re in this bag together. And whether you’re from Morehouse or Nohouse, we’re still in this bag together.”
Another Black woman who was a key part of the Civil Rights Movement was Dorothy Height. Height was a social rights activist, an administrator, and an educator. In addition, she was also the President of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years.
“I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom…I want to be remembered as one who tried.”
Read more about powerful Black women here
Via Madame Noire