Black Women and the Struggle for Equality

Black women have always served on the front-line in the fight for equality. Although their contributions were sometimes overlooked in both the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements, their power, resilience, and courage cannot be overstated. Black women have a distinctive standpoint from which to understand the intersection of race and gender and their unique experience of oppression. The women highlighted in here are connected by an intricate network of activists that spans several generations. Through their stories – revealed in National Park Service parks and programs -- we gain a better understanding of what it takes to meet the promise of justice and equality for all.
  • Black and white photo portrait of Daisy Bates
    Daisy Bates

    Daisy Bates was an African American civil rights activist and newspaper publisher. She documented the fight for desegregation in Arkansas.

  • Black and white photo of Unita Blackwell standing at a podium
    Unita Blackwell

    Born to sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta, Blackwell rose from humble beginnings to become a heroine of the Civil Rights movement.

  • Black and white portrait of Hallie Brown in a large coat
    Hallie Quinn Brown

    There are people who give great speeches, and there are those who perform them. Hallie Quinn Brown was one of the few who performed them.

  • Black and white photo of Anna Julia Cooper seated at a table
    Dr. Anna Julia Cooper

    Born into slavery in 1859, Cooper would become a distinguished author, activist, educator, and scholar.

  • Black and white profile photo of Shirley Du Bois
    Shirley Graham Du Bois

    Before Shirley Graham married W.E.B. Du Bois in 1951, she had earned a national reputation as a playwright, composer, director, and author.

  • Black and white photo of Anna Hedgeman
    Anna Arnold Hegeman

    Anna Hedgeman participated in and led some of the 20th century’s most important developments, including education, public health, & justice.

  • Color photo of Diane Nash smiling into the camera
    Diane Judith Nash

    For Nash, nonviolence is not a strategy or tactic, nor it is simply the absence of violence. It is a way of life.

  • Painting of Modjeska Simkins
    Modjeska Monteith Simkins

    Modjeska Simkins was the matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina. She was also a leader in African-American public health.

  • Color photo of Mrs. Taylor standing near the White House
    Mrs. Recy Taylor

    Through their testimonies, Black women like Mrs. Taylor fought against sexualized violence and sparked larger campaigns for racial justice

Learn More About Black Women and the Struggle for Equality

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    Last updated: January 27, 2021


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