On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, remembering the women civil rights leaders left out of spotlight

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tags: Martin Luther King, civil rights, African American history, holidays, womens history

As the country observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, there will be many news clips of the civil rights leader at the 1963 March on Washington.

That iconic image of King delivering the “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 at the Lincoln Memorial is seared into the history of the struggle for equal rights. But generally, beyond Rosa Parks refusing to relinquish her bus seat, little is known about the women of the civil rights movement.

“Women were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, but their individual stories were rarely heard,” said Bettye Collier-Thomas, a professor of history at Temple University. She is co-editor of Sisters in the Struggle: African-American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement.

Those unsung women activists included: Daisy Bates, Ella Baker, Septima Poinsette Clark, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria Richardson, Amelia Boynton Robinson, and Anna Arnold Hedgeman.

Read entire article at Philadelphia Inquirer

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