Category Archives: Women of the Movement

Winning Over Women: A Civil Rights Strategy

Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard RustinTime on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin by Don Weise

I’m currently reading Bayard Rustin’s collected writings, “Time on Two Crosses.” In describing an inter-racial group’s efforts in 1947 to test the Morgan decision — the case that found that state segregation laws did not apply to interstate bus travel, he wrote:

 

“It appeared that women are more intelligently inquisitive, open for discussion, and liberal in their sentiments than men. On several occasions women not only defended those who broke with Jim Crow, but gave their names and addresses, offering to act as witnesses. In appealing for aid in the psychological struggle within the bus one might do well to concentrate on winning over women.”

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Two Violas: Mothers of the Movement

When I think about the women who bent the arc of history toward justice, I tend to think about the ones who were holding their lives and families together the best they could while engaging in some of the boldest, most high-stakes activism I can imagine. It’s one thing to march for justice in my sneakers and then to retire home to my dishwasher. For me, marching is a good walk with a good message. I enjoy the protection of my skin color, the knowledge of my rights, the faith they’ll be upheld in the justice system, and the blessing of time. It’s quite another to march in your Sunday best, the imminent threat of physical and sexual violence, jail, and concern for what will happen to your children as a result. Two Violas gave their treasure to the nation. Continue reading Two Violas: Mothers of the Movement