Activism

Biography

Anne Spencer

Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer lived her entire life in Virginia, where she tended her garden, worked as a librarian and teacher, hosted luminaries of Black intellectual and cultural life, and fought for equal rights for African Americans. 
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Biography

Gertrude “Ma” Rainey

Often called the “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey was known for her deep-throated voice and mesmerizing stage presence that drew packed audiences and sold hit records in the early twentieth century.
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Lesson Plan

Fannie Lou Hamer and Social Activism

This lesson provides an insight into the rhetoric and social action of Fannie Lou Hamer. By focusing on three speeches through her career, students will better be able to understand how Hamer was an agent of change.
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Biography

Audrey Faye Hendricks

On May 2, 1963, 9 year old Audrey Faye Hendricks became the youngest known person arrested during the Civil Rights Movement. 
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Biography

Betsy Wade

As the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the New York Times in 1974, Wade transformed the industry and newsrooms across the nation. 
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Biography

Joyce Parrish O'Neal

O’Neal has received many honors in her life, including inclusion in the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame (2017). She was also the first African American elected to the Alabama State Personnel Board (2006 and 2010). 
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Biography

Lillian Wald

Lillian D. Wald helped to bring health care to the residents of New York’s Lower East Side at the turn of the twentieth century.
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Biography

Rashida Tlaib

As a life-long Detroiter, and one of the first Muslim-Americans, as well as the first Palestinian-American woman, ever elected to the United States Congress, Tlaib advocates for issues that affect the working-class.
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Biography

Antonia Hernández

According to Antonia Hernández, she “went to law school for one reason: to use the law as a vehicle for social change.” Decades later, she can claim numerous legal victories for the Latinx community in voting rights, employment, and education.
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Biography

Amanda Blackhorse

Amanda Blackhorse has always seen Native American women fighting against injustice. Blackhorse, member of the Navajo, a social worker and mother of two, served as the named plaintiff in the 2006 lawsuit Blackhorse et al v. Pro-Football Inc.
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Biography

Louisa Ann Swain

On September 6, 1870, 70-year-old Louisa Ann Swain stepped up to the ballot box in Laramie, Wyoming and cast her vote in the general election. In doing so, she became the first woman to legally cast a ballot since 1807.
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Biography

Lyda Conley

Considered the Guardian of Heron Indian Cemetery, her appearance made her the third woman, and the first Native American, to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court.
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Biography

Charlotta Spears Bass

Charlotta Spears Bass was a journalist, activist, and politician who fought for the civil rights of African Americans in the early and mid-20th century. She was also the first Black woman to run for vice president of the United States (1952).
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