Women who participated in 1963's March on Washington marched separately from the men as a way to bring attention to women's contributions to the civil rights movement, NAACP Senior Adviser Jotaka Eaddy writes at Ebony. Eaddy encourages all people to salute these women, as well as the countless other nameless women who continue to work hard for social justice and equality.
It's an even lesser known fact that Daisy Bates, joined Josephine Baker, Rosa Parks, Dorothy Height, Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson and other marchers down Independence Avenue as the men marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, not to separate themselves from the march, but in the hopes of increasing their visibility among others in the movement. Yet when we look at the iconic image of civil rights leaders standing and meeting with President Kennedy after the march, no women are present.
The engrained images that we often see of those historic events and moments in our history are too often only filled with images of the great male leaders of that time, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. [Philip] Randolph, Bayard Rustin and others who served as leaders in the civil rights era. Too often that visual narrative does not include great women leaders such as Dr. Dorothy Height, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash Bevel, Mildred Bond Roxborough and other thought leaders who were also at the heart and soul of the movement …
Because of the vision and advocacy of the iconic civil and human rights women leaders and hundreds of nameless and faceless women that came before us, women are at the helms of boardrooms and executive offices, breaking barriers in the fields of technology and research, and helping shape the course of democracy today.
Read Jotaka L. Eaddy's entire piece at Ebony.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.