Tag Archives: black feminist

Angela Davis | Women, Privilege and Prisons

Angela DavisRenowned civil rights and womens rights leader Angela Davis spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta on March 24, 2009 for the keynote address of Emory Universitys Womens History Month. Davis’ long-standing commitment to prisoners’ rights dates to her involvement in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, which led to her own arrest and imprisonment in 1970.

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Filed under American History, American Politics, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Feminist Leaders, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Law Enforcement, Womens' Issues

Anita Hill | The Power of Our Presence: African American Women Building Communities, Families, Ourselves

Anita Hill | 1991

Anita Hill | 1991

Anita Hill speech at Simmons College on April 11, 2008, “The Power of Our Presence: African American Women Building Communities, Families, Ourselves,” focused both on the past by examining the racist and misogynist 1965 Moynihan report, and on the present by noting milestones achieved by black women since the report’s release. 

Looking to the future, Hill urged the audience to take advantage of opportunities outside the community: in the workforce and in areas like education, politics, and law. She cited five ways, or “pledges,” for Black women to further their presence in leadership roles, including: moving beyond Brown v. Board of Education to change access and curriculum; integrating society, starting with the workplace; creating a safe-haven in the home and community; and saving the community’s soul by emphasizing religion and generating positive images of African American culture.

Professor Anita Hill

Professor Anita Hill

“We have to become the political leaders we deserve,” said Hill as the fifth and final pledge. “If we are serious about having a conversation about race and gender, we must have elected officials in leadership roles that are willing to talk about it.

“The burn of identity,” Hill said, both as a women and as an African American, “can be overwhelming but nothing for Simmons women.”

“Our hopes speak to all Americans,” said Hill. She urged the crowd to strive to leave the next generation inclusive, not just tolerant. “We are the American Dream,” she concluded.


Filed under American History, American Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Feminist Leaders, Womens' Issues

Oral History Interview with Ella Baker | “Ella’s Song” ~ Sweet Honey in the Rock

Ella Baker

Oral History Interview with Ella Baker, September 4, 1974. Interview G-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) ~ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


BAKER:  “…I think the basic “why” of S.C.L.C. has to do with what has taken place in the ’54 decision and the  Montgomery bus boycott. But before you can evaluate the bus boycott, you have to understand how it came about. And it didn’t come out of a vacuum.

There were two people in Montgomery who had functioned with the N.A.A.C.P. over the years and they were Mrs. Rosa Parks and E.D.Nixon. Where did E. D. Nixon get his fire? He got his fire and his sense of social action from being a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the struggle that it had waged through the years.

So when the Montgomery bus boycott ended successfully here you had a social phenomenon that had not taken place in the history of those of us who were around at that time, where hundreds of people and even thousands of people, ordinary people, had taken a position that put them in a very uncomfortable—at least made life less comfortable for them—when they decided to walk rather than to ride the buses.

And this was a mass action and a mass action that anybody who looked at the social scene would have to appreciate and wonder.

Those of us who believed that mass and only through mass action are we going to eliminate certain things, would have to think in terms of how does this get carried on.

So, whatever the reasons, or however the historical accidents of history or whatever else that precipitated Martin as the president—that’s quite a story I’m not going into because you didn’t come here for that—but whatever those factors were, he was there as the spokesman for the boycott. And out of the boycott he became a worldwide known individual articulating the strivings and the hopes and so forth of the people who were involved in the boycott.”

Sweet Honey in the Rock

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Filed under American Culture, American Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Feminist Leaders