How Did African American Women Shape
the Civil Rights Movement and What Challenges Did They Face?


       Women's organized efforts to overcome discrimination based on race and gender date at least to the late nineteenth century. Fighting degrading stereotypes, black clubwomen embarked on racial uplift within African American communities and education of white citizenry. Women worked within national organizations and in local communities to broaden opportunities. The emergence of the classic civil rights movement found women organizing and participating in mass demonstrations, as well as feeding, housing, and nurturing supporters. During the 1980s and '90s black female intellectuals and working-class community organizers continued the struggle to demarginalize black women.


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