How the Civil Rights Movement Influenced the Women's Liberation Movement

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The civil rights movement influenced the women’s liberation movement in four key ways. First, it provided women with a model for success on how a successful movement should organize itself. Second, the civil rights movement broadened the concept of leadership to include women. Third, by fighting for equality, the civil rights movement changed the culture of advocacy and made social justice a legitimate cause. Finally, by eventually excluding women, the civil rights movement spurred women to organize their own movement. Without the civil rights movement, the women’s movement likely would never taken off on its own.
The civil rights movement (and the activists involved) gave women a model for success. The method the civil rights movement
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Black women eventually earned college and graduate degrees and sought full time employment in higher rates than either black men or white women, while maintaining a community service ethic.
The civil rights movement broadened the definition of leadership to include women, and left an impression of women as powerful and determined activists. Jo An Robinson and Ella Baker are just two of the many women who were able to take charge and make an impact on the movement. Robinson led the Women’s Political Council, which plotted strategy for a one-day bus boycott in Montgomery following Rosa Parks’ arrest. The Council was able to recruit clergy to lend their churches for mass meetings and was able to tap into a new minister in town, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead the Montgomery Improvement Association, which would coordinate the larger Montgomery Bus Boycotts . It was the women that organized this key moment in the civil rights movement – which was, in fact, spurred by a woman, Rosa Parks, refusing to take her seat in the back of the bus. Ella Baker was similarly key in the Civil Rights movement. She was instrumental in organizing a conference of student sit-in activists in 1960, forming the beginning of what would become the SNCC. By educating and fostering leadership, Baker helped members to see themselves as potential leaders – regardless of race or gender. That does not mean that leadership in the

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