African American Women And The Civil Rights Movement

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Even though African American women have played vital roles in social justice movements, they are often overshadowed because of their gender. Only a few organizations like Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) gave more access for female leadership. But more often than none, women had informal positions of leadership.
Because of gender norms in the 1960’s, society was resistant toward women in power and leadership, especially African American ones. Even though African American women had the traits, skills, and personalities to be formal leaders of social justice movements like the Civil Rights Movement, they were never given a platform to do so, mostly because their leadership wouldn’t be recognized as legitimate
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Wether it was recruitment, mobilization, or obtaining and securing resources, African American women were the backbone and the unsung heros of these movements. “Given the context of the times, the period 1954-65, women who participated in the civil rights movement experienced unprecedented power” (Robnett 1996).
African American women have been major actors in social activism since their arrival in the Americas. They have used various strategies like writing articles and books, organizing demonstrations and more to create cultural change. Using the pressure of racism and sexism, African American women created a space for a unique form of leadership that encapsulated both cultural and political, more formally know as bridge leadership.

African American women’s leadership in the community is translating into political power. What has once been seen as a political liability, gender and race, is now turning into political capital. Just as African American women used their exclusive perspective to further social justice movements, they are using that it in the political world and are being just as successful. Their presence in local, state, and federal government is increasing. Because of their ability to connect to those they represent and think outside of the box, African America women are becoming very successful political actors. Since they are able to weave traditional
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