As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his dream, and the legacy we at MadameNoire.com highlight a few of the exemplary women that were instrumental in the civil rights movement, the ones that supported and strengthened the dream of equal rights for all.
President of the National Council for Negro Women for 40 years, Height was a contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr., even standing on the stage as he gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
Diane Nash was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 freedom rides. Nash was also one of the organizers who brought MLK, Jr. to Montogomery, Alabama to support the Riders.
An American activist who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama and a key figure in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. She was one of the leaders who convinced MLK, Jr. to come to Selma in the first place.
JO ANN ROBINSON
After Rosa Parks was arrested for famously not giving up her bus seat, Jo-Ann Robinson jumped in to organize support for the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in 1955. She was a crucial member of the movement, also assisting with the carpools that took people to and from work during the boycotts.
Once dubbed the “Mother of the Movement” by none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. She worked with Thurgood Marshall on getting equal pay for black teachers and even accompanied MLK to his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.