During the 1960’s, Black women struggled for human rights and honor; however, they faced challenges with sexism, racism and classism. Black women were marginalized and openly discriminated against in both movements. They were an insignificant group whose existence and needs were ignored by the black men of the Black Liberation Movement and white women in the Women’s Movement. The Women’s Movements were mainly white women of upper-middle class and didn’t recognize the working class women, or individuals from other ethnic backgrounds. Also, Black women were limited from leadership and organizing opportunities as they struggled against Black masculinity and competing with their ranks.
Although women gained the rights to vote in 1920, due to the Jim Crow racial segregation and marginalization, Black women were automatically denied to vote. Despite the oppression, risk, and challenges, Black women continued their activism for human rights and eventually helped construct the Civil Rights movement. Gloria Joseph stated that “Rosa Parks made a significant movement by refusing to move to the back of the bus” (79). Rosa Parks was not a woman that didn’t care about the political issues; in fact, she was an experienced activist and organizer fighting for equal rights.
Perhaps our history books may have hardly mentioned the role of Black women leaders, but today we can reveal the truth by using the social media, for example, YouTube. Over the journey, Women have continued to achieve and develop compelling opportunities and leadership. Kathleen Cleaver, a well-educated lawyer, writer and activist with abilities to express and interpret the laws. Her motivational speeches and strong leadership qualities intimidated those in the political power. Another powerful leader is Elaine Brown, Chairwoman of the Black Panther Party. Brown is also a skilled writer, speaker, singer and songwriter. She became an influential leader that managed to break the chains of a prejudice society. Despite the conflicts and FBI threats, Brown managed to build homes, school and other creative programs for the people.
Leaders today: young activist Malala Yousafzai is an advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan. Yousafzai breaks the silence about her right, and the right of all women to have access to education. However, on 2012 she received threats by the Taliban soldiers and was shot in the head. But she survived and will continue to remain an active advocate fighting for the rights of education for all.
Finally, in today’s world; animosity, racism, sexism, barbarism and prejudice continue to play a significant role in our society. We say we are passed it, but the truth is that it continues to exist. It’s simply on stereotypes handed down from generation to generation. History has proved how structural racism is a social phenomenon connected to the rise of capitalism as a world system. To dismantle the bourgeois- white supremacy, we the people, regardless of our differences need to come together to fight against the injustices and inequalities that exist in our world.
“41st & Central: ELAINE BROWN “Niggatown- Joining The Party”.” YouTube. N.p., 26 Apr. 2009. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.
“A Brief History of Jim Crow.” Constitutional Rights Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.
Joseph, Gloria. Home: SSOAR. N.p., 1992. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.
“Kathleen Cleaver Remains Very Active | African American Registry.” Welcome To “Voices That Guide Us” Personal Narratives | African American Registry. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.
“Malala Yousafzai.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.