During the civil rights movement, women played major roles that I think are often overlooked by the accomplishments of men. Women like Anne Moody and Miriam Anderson contributed greatly to the movement. They led organizations, they were lawyers, and they were on the front lines dying for the fight for black rights. Here are a few women we don’t hear about too often when learning about the civil rights movement:
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons-a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She fought for gaining resources and aid in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer.
Doris Adelaide Derby- another SNCC activist, she encouraged local women to join the cause as well as helping with voting drives and rallies. Her efforts helped members of
Ruby Nell Sales- She worked closely with efforts to stop bus segregation and even overcame psychological trauma from the movement. She encouraged people look deeper than what Rosa Parks did and to keep pushing for effective techniques of civil disobedience.
While doing the final exam essay, I focused on Anne Moody’s “A Coming of Age in Mississippi” and how the tactics for black rights of SNCC differed from that of Martin Luther King’s. While researching I came across an interesting video that is a live action trailer based on the reading of the book. The trailer does a good job relaying the same information and getting major plot points of the story right.
After talking about the “Double V” campaign during World War 2, I was interested in learning a bit more. I found a few interesting facts and quotes that I never knew such as:
1. The Pittsburgh Courier went on to say in its’ February 14th article, “We, as colored Americans are determined to protect our country, our form of government and the freedoms which we cherish for ourselves and the rest of the world, therefore we have adopted the Double ‘V’ war cry—victory over our enemies at home and victory over our enemies on the battlefields abroad. Thus in our fight for freedom we wage a two-pronged attack against our enslavers at home and those abroad who will enslave us.
2. WE HAVE A STAKE IN THIS FIGHT…WE ARE AMERICANS, TOO!” Not only did the campaign gather blacks together in support of racial equality, but afforded them the opportunity to feel part of a bigger struggle for freedom everywhere. It was more similar to the Black lives matter movement than I thought.
3.The shared struggles of black America were also felt by black service men in the armed forces. According to Lawrence P. Scott, a black airman in the 99th, and an eventual Tuskegee Airman, “every man in the 99th was aware that the success of the 99th would impact the status of blacks in the Army Air Force and the army as a whole and that each man performed his job as if the race depended on him.”
The link to the full article where I got this information is: https://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/4682
Last Thursday, Dr. Kathleen Cleaver, a prominent member of the Black Panther party, came to speak to students. However, another really powerful speaker came to McGaw Chapel to talk. A local Ohioan, Elaine Richardson, is a professor of literacy at The Ohio State University. She also helps at a local Cleveland public school mentoring young black girls and showing them the importance of education. Her presentation was that of a performance. She got on stage and began to tell her story from her perspective, but she told the story from the point of view of the age she was. From childhood to teenage years to adulthood, she would replay some of the best, and worst memories, of her life. On top of this, she would sing some of her favorite songs. Her gorgeous voice echoed through the chapel and everyone was completely astonished. Her story talked about how she feel into sex work and drug addiction, but through the power of education and persistence (with a little help) she now has a Ph.D from Michigan State University. What she was getting across is how young black women can fall into sex work in multiple ways and people see it as their choice, but what they don’t know is that most of the time something traumatic causes these girls to make that choice. Dr.Richardson has also published a book called Ph.D(Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D, telling her story on paper. I also had the privilege of having dinner her and never had I met such a down to Earth person. It was incredible talk and hope she speaks more as I continue through college.
Before joining this class, I’ve always learned history by repeating dates and naming a few important people and events so that I can regurgitate that information on a test. After reading Equiano’s ‘Interesting Narrative’, I found that it’s much easier to understand a particular point of view. For example, Equiano’s view on race in Africa was that there were different people with different languages, but those languages were similar enough that they could understood. I feel if more grade schools implemented using autobiographical primary sources, students would be able to grasp the concepts and perceptions of varying historical events.
In a 2017 article by “The Conversation”, the author begs the question, are movies a good way to learn history? In the article the author speaks on some movies that reflect different historical periods and events. Some of these were: Hidden Figures, Fences, and The Alamo. One essential argument they use is the fact that having visual representations makes remembering easier. They also noted the negatives of movies depicting history, such as how movies can inaccurately portray certain events which can confuse students.
I chose to use this article because while reading, students create visual movies in their heads. Students can do this more easily if they have an autobiography or just a primary source that they can use to create the movie. Using Equiano’s narrative, for example, because he described his settings, tribe, and the white men the way he did, it’s easier to create that mental movie. We could use Equiano as the main actor and his point of view as the plot. In the end, it would be a lot easier for students to understand point of views and events if they have these mental movies that can best be created through autobiographical primary sources.