CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT – HOW GENDER AND RELIGION PLAYED A ROLE

Introduction

In most cases, religion has played a significant role in fuelling the fights for freedom, which ultimately calls for the women participation as in the case of the civil rights in the US. Religion played a foremost role in the sparkling the advocacy for the civil rights of the African-Americans in the US with the main objective of initiating revolutionary social change[1]. Women participation during the civil rights also played an integral role in accelerating the civil rights movement. A number of historians consent the critical role that women, especially African-Americans, played in ensuring that there was racial equity. A notable woman figure during the civil rights movement is Rosa parks. Most of the women during the civil rights lobby group collaborated core religious leaders on accounts of choice, and bias that was based on racial and gender factors. This paper discusses the role that women and religion played during the time when the African-American populations were advocating for their civil rights.

It is arguably evident that religion played a forefront role in advocating for the civil rights to ensure social justice. In the South, the church served as a meeting place for the civil rights activists during the movement; basically, the church was considered as the symbol of the civil rights movement. This implies that the church symbolized the some of the core elements of freedom that were central towards the period of the civil rights activism. In addition, the church was considered as the only facility in the society that was not vulnerable to the core aspects that fuelled the civil rights activism like racism and women prejudice. The church was beyond the influence of the whites and the participants of the civil rights support found the church as a perfect place whereby they could air out their views and encourage the masses without the potential fear of the authorities. For the participants and other people who had keen interest in the proceedings of the civil rights movements, the church came as the bulletin board of the progresses that had been attained[2].

The socio-economic and political power of the civil rights activism was enclosed in the church, owing to the fact it was not susceptible to the opposition by the white supremacists. It is notable that most influential people during the time at which the African-Americans were advocating for their civil rights lobby group found in the south were mostly religious leaders, who played an integral role in bring up the masses to rise against the white supremacists. In addition, religion can be argued to have offered accommodation to people of all socio-economic status for a common goal to pursue freedom from white supremacists. This played an integral role in building up the confidence of the participants and most was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the goals of the civil rights movement were attained. Religion can be argued to have made significant contributions that culminated towards the success of the civil rights movement.  In addition the underlying themes that were used by the activists of the civil rights based on religious orientations, and most participants viewed the fight for civil rights as a just cause. It is notable that the Montgomery was the birth of the civil rights activism, evident by Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, who were from the region and played a forefront role during the time of fighting for the civil rights of the African-American community.

Women involvement in the civil rights movement also played a significant role in ensuring its success. Women figures such as Rosa Parks can be argued to have played a significant role in initiating the civil rights activism. Women worked in collaboration with the religious leaders to ensure that the goals and objectives of the civil rights activists were achieved. For instance, during 1955, Rosa Parks deliberately refused to give up her seat to a white person while in Montgomery; this resulted to mass boycott by many black women. This was the birth of advocacy for civil rights, as it served it ignite earlier attempts by activities that have failed to free the African Americans from the white man supremacy. The boycott went for over a year, after which Martin Luther King began to participate in advocating for civil rights. Rosa is considered as the mother of the movement that pioneered the advocacy for civil rights, who played an influential role in the elimination of the segregation laws associated with Jim Crow’s era, which was a milestone towards the quest for racial justice. Other women personalities that played an integral role in making the civil rights activism a triumph include Ella Baker, who was a labor organizer; Septima Poinsette Clark, who was an educator and activist under the National Association for the Advancement of Black Colored People; Fannie Lou Hamer, the co-founder of Mississippi Democratic Party; and Vivian Malone. It is arguably evident that the efforts of the women made significant background contributions towards ensuring that the civil rights activism was a victory[3].

Conclusion

Religion and women involvement was influential in ensuring the success of the civil rights advocacy by the African-Americans. Women worked in collaboration with religious leaders to ensure success of the civil rights movement.

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