Famous Black Women Activists You Should Know About

The civil rights movement is active in the United States and there are many women who are active in the movement. There are plenty of good people working hard to better the lives of black people and help them achieve economic independence and equality.

Though slavery has been over for more than 100 years, many blacks are still feeling the effects of slavery all these years later. Racism is alive and well, and even on the rise, and blacks have been kept down in many ways. They have been profiled by the police and denied opportunities right and left. Activists are busy trying to right the wrongs in society and many have lost their lives in the process.

Women have been active in the movement since the beginning. Angela Davis was heavily involved with the Black Panthers and is now a professor. Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus. Modern activists like Kamala Harris are working within the political system to try to change things.

The modern civil rights movement is working to end segregation in the south and is pushing for a more equal public school system. The movement is trying to end violence in the community and make sure that children and adults have enough food and medical care. Poverty is a huge problem in many black communities and activists are trying to level the economic playing field through many types of programs.

The school system is a big mess as well, with poor students going to schools that do not have enough funding. Poor black kids are just not getting the education they need to keep up with the job market. Modern activists are starting programs that are helping to teach kids what they are going to need to know to go to college and get a job.

Black males have a higher incarceration rate than any other race. Civil rights activists are working to help release prisoners who have been wrongly convicted and help rehabilitate them when they get out so they can get jobs and not have to resort to crime.

The black community has many problems to overcome, but it is getting help from the male and female activists who want to help change things for the better. Civil rights are more important now than ever, especially in today’s hate-filled political climate.

Comments Off on Famous Black Women Activists You Should Know About

Filed under Civil Rights Activists, Feminists, My Blog

Who Are The Biggest Celebrity Activists?

Hollywood is well known for producing a substantial number of people that can become active this for many different causes. These people believe in something, and wish to contribute, and they can do a lot because they have the money to do so. It is this ability to contribute that is why so many actors and actresses nationwide become not only activists, but become well-known as an activist in the process. Since their names and pictures are already well known to the public, it’s easy to identify them once you have heard their name in connection with an activism group.

George Clooney

He is a celebrity activist that really started from humble beginnings, at least in regard to the roles that he had early on. It was not until his later years that he began to make his way in Hollywood, and became one of Hollywood’s most visible and wealthy stars. Many people have compared him to Cary Grant, but it is his celebrity activism that has helped identify him in the public even more. He has been outspoken about violence in Darfur, organized a telethon to help raise money for the people that suffered in the Haitian earthquake, and is very focused on helping people in Africa.

Angelina Jolie

Although most people know the actress for the many roles that she has had over the last few decades, she is also known as a celebrity activist. She typically plays iconic heroes in the movies that she does, and this is also true of her in real life. She has been a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, going back to 2001. She was able to use her celebrity status to motivate people to contribute to certain causes including helping people in Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Cambodia.

One of the main reasons that celebrities can become so prominent in activism is that they have connections to people with money. They will probably have friends that are worth millions of dollars, and their friends will also have millions, and this can lead to substantial contributions. However, at the very least they are able to use their name on advertisements and websites to get people to donate money. It is their notoriety in the movie industry, as well as their popularity with fans around the world, that helps them become very successful activists that can help people worldwide.

Comments Off on Who Are The Biggest Celebrity Activists?

Filed under Media, My Blog

The History of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

One of the worst fire catastrophes occurred at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. By the end of the incident, the fire had claimed the lives of 146 people. Many died from the flames or severe smoke inhalation but more died due to the shoddy conditions of the fire escapes or by jumping to the pavement some eight stories below to avoid the heat.

Most of the women who died that day were factory workers from the Italian Jewish Immigrant community. The oldest known victim was 43 and the youngest victims were 14.

The factory had been set up on the top three floors of a ten-story commercial building which would soon become a monument in the Greenish Village area in Manhattan. It was late in the afternoon on March 25th 1911, and many people were leaving work when the fire started on the eighth floor of the building. The Fire Marshall determined a burning cigarette or match to be the culprit in the fire.

The fire department was called immediately and the people in the building were beginning to evacuate when the flames quickly engulfed the building. When the elevators stopped working the panicking employees rushed to the only fire escape which was in poor conditions. It collapsed and carried 20 women to their deaths below.

 

The building owners had changed many of the escape routes shut, as was common practice to avoid theft and crime. Many people were trapped inside or jumped from the high windows to avoid a painful death in the flames.

Witnesses were horrified to see the many women jumping from the windows. When the fire brigade did arrive at the scene, their ladders were only tall enough to reach the seventh floor and they weren’t able to rescue many people. The Asch Building still stands today and is a tourist attraction in Manhattan.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was one of the worst catastrophes to hit the industrial age and was not quickly forgotten. Because of it, the fire department began to establish many new regulations regarding fire safety. The practice of chaining fire escapes shut was expressly forbidden.

The horrific death of so many young women was also crucial in establishing factory safety standards that would be enforced by the fire department. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union was also established which would fight for the rights and improved working conditions of workers.

Comments Off on The History of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Filed under Civil Rights Activists, Feminists, My Blog

What Exactly Is A Boycott?

There are times when people will refuse to purchase or boycott a product or service for a multitude of different reasons. They may be against a company, individual, or an entire country, and will try to convince others to do the same. There are many examples in history where boycotting led to significant changes in society, or changes in the way that a company manufactures a product. Let’s go over the origins of what a boycott is, and the reasons that people will actually boycott products and services from companies and countries for the purpose of inspiring change.

Origins Of Boycotting

There was actually an Englishman by the name of Boycott, an individual that was a land agent. This was back in the 19th century. It was in Ireland, a place where he owned many properties, and he refused to reduce the rent for his tenants that were farmers. It is because of this that local residents decided to avoid dealing with him at all. Today, his name is associated with any person, or group, the decides to not purchase or interact with companies or countries that they do not like for various reasons.

Examples Of Boycotting

Examples of boycotting include Pres. Jimmy Carter, back in 1980, when he stated the United States of America would not participate in the Moscow Olympics if the Soviets did not remove troops from Afghanistan. Another example, probably the most famous of all, was when Rosa Parks in 1955 was arrested because she did not sit in the right section of the bus. A community organizer by the name of Jo Anne Robinson decided to spread the word about her desire to boycott buses in Montgomery, a boycott that lasted almost until Christmas in 1956. In both of these examples, there was a very good reason for boycotting, both of which made very valid points which defined important moments in history.

The reason behind a boycott should always be one that is going to make a point, usually with the intent of causing people, companies or even countries to change. When you do not use their services, or you do not buy their products, they are going to start losing money. Sometimes the only way to get people to understand what is right and wrong is to hit them where it hurts the most. This could be the absence of an Olympic team, or in the case of Rosa Parks, it was all about how much the buses were not making when people decided not to ride. One last suggestion is to have a strong law firm back you up because if your boycott becomes serious enough, the business you are boycotting may try to take legal action.

Comments Off on What Exactly Is A Boycott?

Filed under My Blog, Uncategorized

What You Need To Know About The Rodney King Riots

When the Los Angeles police savagely beat Rodney King, they had no idea that they were going to set off a huge chain of events that would lead to one of the worst riots in Los Angeles that was ever recorded. The Rodney King riots were dramatic and changed history forever.

Rodney King was badly beaten by three white policemen and the entire event was captured on camera by a witness where millions of people viewed what took place. Incredibly, the police officers were acquitted of brutally beating King and the anger erupted.

The black community was already feeling economic and racial inequality and having Rodney King be acquitted was the final straw. The community erupted and five days of rioting took place in Los Angeles. The riots brought attention to the plight of the black community and got a conversation started about the problems and issues that the black community faces.

People could see this intense hatred the police had towards this unarmed black man in the beating and it was plain for everyone to see. He was beaten for over 15 minutes while a group of police just stood around and laughed and made comments. After the cops were acquitted, the riots started just three hours later.

Residents of the Rodney King’s Los Angeles community began to set fires, they looted stores, and destroyed them. Whites were yanked from their cars and beaten up in the streets. The neighborhoods that were looting already had serious problems with high unemployment rates and rampant drug use. There were lots of gangs and crime in the area.

Many of the residents did not like the police and this was the last straw for the community. The police force was abusive, racist, and cruel towards the community and they would stop anyone black, even if they weren’t doing anything. The riots go so bad that even Rodney King made an appeal for people to stop fighting, but nothing was working. Over 50 people died as a result of the riots and thousands of people were injured or arrested.

The Rodney King riots brought police brutality to the forefront and taught people about racial profiling and how the police treat the poorest in our society. The riots are something that is never going to be forgotten and they will live on in history forever.

Comments Off on What You Need To Know About The Rodney King Riots

Filed under My Blog

Who Was Harvey Milk? A Quick Primer

Where Was Milk’s Life Like?
Harvey Milk did not grow up in San Francisco, the city that made him famous. In fact, he is a native of Woodmere, New York. He was not a vocal advocate of liberal politics or gay rights in his early life. Quite the contrary, Milk lived a conservative, closeted life and spent time in the Navy until the campaign season of 1964. He befriended a theater director and eventually began to live a more open life. What once were secretive, quiet trysts became open relationships as his confidence and identity grew. As his experiences varied, Milk found his politics changing and he was vocal about them.
Milk bounced between the east and west coasts between 1969 and 1972. He eventually settled down to begin his camera business on Castro Street in 1972, and decided to run for Supervisor in 1973. Milk’s first bid was unsuccessful, but he proved scrappy in a fairly hostile political environment.
What Were Milk’s Views Like?
Harvey Milk ended up making alliances with the Teamsters and drove a community boycott of Coors products. The political alliance proved helpful, as this launched a gay-friendly hiring initiative among the Teamsters. Milk also befriended many small business owners he worked alongside daily on Castro street and elsewhere in the district. He showed the power of being backed by a law firm that fights for your rights, sought out progressive tax reform, affordable housing for low-income residents, and public resources for working mothers. Milk also aimed directly at anti-gay discrimination by writing a bill to ban discrimination in housing, employment, and public resource accommodations. This ordinance passed almost unanimous support in March of 1978 and was written into law.
What Happened To Harvey Milk?
Harvey Milk’s landmark anti-discrimination ordinance had exactly one opponent upon vote — co-Supervisor Dan White. White resigned in 1978, citing salary concerns. However, he was prodded by fellow conservatives to recover his resigned post to try and slow the growth of progressivism in the district. Upon unsuccessfully trying to convince Mayor Moscone to return his post to him, White snuck into the basement of City Hall with a revolver. He murdered Moscone after one last attempt to recover his public office post by force, and proceeded to murder Milk after.
What Was Harvey Milk Famous For?
Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay men to hold public office in the United States. Milk’s career was exceptionally notable as he was elected to office at a time when the American psychiatric profession and the general public still considered homosexuality to be a mental illness. Milk’s life and career ended when he was murdered by a former co-officer on November 27th, 1978, after being blamed for increasingly progressive views in the San Francisco area they serviced. His remarkable achievements are still remembered by the gay community and public servants alike to this day.

Comments Off on Who Was Harvey Milk? A Quick Primer

Filed under Civil Rights Activists, My Blog

What Is Propaganda All About?

Propaganda is information that people put out that is biased or that isn’t true. It’s usually used to try to change the opinion of people on a certain subject. It’s used by anyone from celebrities to politicians. You can see propaganda everywhere in a lot of cities worldwide.

Propaganda is everywhere all the time. You can go online to a site like Facebook, and you probably have friends right now that are sharing it. Or, you can just look to what is trending and that’s what you’ll find a lot of the time. The reason it’s so prevalent is because it’s easy to get people to click something if you have a catchy headline whether that headline is true or not. Sometimes, you’ll think a story is about one thing but when you read it you realize that it was all made to get you to check their website out and nothing more.

Why would the various popular main stream media outlets want to use propaganda to get their points across? Well, because a lot of people expect these sources to do their research. While a main stream media source usually does a lot of work to create and prepare a story, they are not always giving you the full truth. What you get is a story presented in a way that people that like that news source expect. It’s not about presenting the facts as they are, it’s about spinning the facts so that they make one side of an issue more appealing.

Some people think that propaganda is only what the other side puts out and they don’t realize that a lot of what they believe is due to propaganda from their own side. For instance, a Democrat may talk about an issue like immigration using buzz words they heard on a news channel to argue a point that really has nothing to do with what they are talking about. Or, a Republican can be talked to about the same subject and can miss the point too because they followed a different piece of propaganda about the same issue.

You now know what propaganda is and how to spot it. If you don’t research what you are looking into online or anywhere, you may be trusting propaganda. It’s easy to not realize that’s the case because of how good people have gotten at hiding it from people.

Comments Off on What Is Propaganda All About?

Filed under Media, My Blog

Who Is Gloria Steinem and What Is Her Role in Feminism?

For half a century, Ohio-born Gloria Marie Steinem has been leading the way in the rights of women and, to a lesser extent, the marginalized citizens of the world in general. Her work in the 1960s and 1970s helped to change the world and pave the way for women’s rights everywhere.

Whether or not you are a woman, the work of Ms. Steinem is important to understand the history of the country and how the patriarchal system has begun to collapse in exchange for more equitable rights for everyone. However, she has not been without critics during her outspoken public career. In fact, proponents on both sides of the feminist discussion often site Steinem during arguments.

Born in the mid-1930s, her childhood included the turmoil of being raised by a divorced mentally ill mother after her parents separated when she was only 10 years old. Her father, a salesman, moved to the West Coast, leaving young Gloria with an unemployed and unemployable mother. Her mother’s mental illness allowed Gloria to see the injustices related to gender, education and economic status.

After she attended college, she began a career in journalism that sparked her activism. She wrote a piece for Esquire magazine during the early 1950s about the marginalization of women. She laid out how women at that time had to choose between a family and a career, predating the better-known “The Feminine Mystique” by a year.

Although she did not gain international credit for that particular piece, it was the first in a long line of articles, essays and other penned works regarding how females in the society are sexualized and don’t have the same voice as men. She even worked undercover as a Playboy Bunny in Los Angeles in order to get an insider view of the sex industry.

Starting in the late 1960s, Ms. Steinem used her voice to promote political activism. Like Jane Fonda and other powerful women at the time, she began to talk passionately about politics and the people who were running for office. Needless to say, the conservative candidates were not always happy with her words and have made great efforts to attack her as a person and a journalist.

However, she has not allowed age to keep her from remaining active in the world of politics and promoting equality for all. For instance, she has been outspoken about female genital mutilation in other countries, as well as male genital mutilation here and abroad. Her stance that these guidelines are designed to suppress rather than enhance the populace is helping to make changes regarding these practices.

Anyone who wants to understand the feminist movement and how it has impacted the world should certainly learn more about Gloria Steinem and the work that she has done. Her powerful words and actions have impacted society in positive ways for the women who live here. While perceived by some as radical, others believe she is exactly what the world needed! She still plays a heavy hand in the world of feminism in this day and age. You can see her here talking at the Women’s March on Washington earlier this year:

Comments Off on Who Is Gloria Steinem and What Is Her Role in Feminism?

Filed under Feminists

Susan B. Anthony – One Of The First Feminists

For today’s true feminists, Susan B. Anthony is a heroine. She was the force behind a woman’s right to vote and is considered one of the most influential women in history. Born in 1850, Anthony was a woman’s right activist and social reformer. She was born a Quaker and believed in social equality. At the age of 17, Anthony collected petitions against slavery and was appointed the American Anti-Slavery Society state agent for New York in 1856.

In 1852, Anthony was barred from speaking at a temperance conference. She was barred because she was a woman. Infuriated, Anthony, along with her friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the Women’s State Temperance Society in New York. Anthony and Stanton also formed the Women’s Loyal National League in 1863 and used the League to help collect almost 400,000 signatures on a petition to abolish slavery.

Anthony and Stanton formed the Equal Rights Association in 1863 and advocated for equal rights for both African Americans and women. Their newspaper, The Revolution was first published in 1868 and in 1869, these two women formed the National Woman Suffrage Association following a split in the women’s movement.

By 1890, this rift was healed and the American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association combined to create the new National American Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony was the driving force behind this merger. Anthony came to believe that no woman would be respected or taken seriously until they could vote. The vote would provide women with political leverage and eventually, her work resulted in women getting the right to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920, 14 years after her death.

Susan B. Anthony is considered by most to be the first feminist in the United States. She attended her convention on women’s rights in 1852. She and Stanton believed women would be granted the right to vote by the Republicans as a reward for garnering the support of women for the Thirteenth Amendment. They were to be bitterly disappointed as Congress once again denied women this right. Anthony never gave up on her efforts for women’s suffrage.

She traveled throughout the West and continued to campaign vigorously for the women’s rights. In 1872, Anthony along with her sisters and other women were arrested because they had voted. Along with the election inspectors accused of allowing her to vote, Anthony was arraigned and charged with voting in the Rochester Common Council chambers. Anthony refused to pay bail and was eventually indicted. Her attorney did pay her bail and asked for a change of venue. This was denied by the court who then instructred the jury to find Anthony guilty. She was fined $100 and courtroom fees. Anthony refused to pay, but the judge didn’t put her in jail and she lost her right to appeal the verdict.

She met with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1898. He responded with that women’s suffrage was “not that important.”  She continued to be an advocate and was quoted saying “Failure Is Impossible”. She died in 1906 from heart failure in her home in Rochester but her legacy continues.

Comments Off on Susan B. Anthony – One Of The First Feminists

Filed under Feminists

The Civil Rights Movement

Our country doesn’t have the greatest history when it comes to racism. But since the time of slavery, we have made leaps and bounds. Most of this change came from The Civil Rights Movement which ended The Jim Crow Laws (separate but equal) and allowed African Americans to have the same rights as white citizens. Unfortunately, our country still has racism which is causing more and more political movements as we speak (for example Black Lives Matter).

The Civil Rights Movement was not the first political activist movement but it was one that happened in recent history that still plays a role in our daily lives. When you think of The Civil Rights Movement you think of key activists such as Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and more. Here are the Top 10 Civil Rights Movement activists who made a tremendous difference in the rights of African Americans in The United States.

Comments Off on The Civil Rights Movement

Filed under Civil Rights Activists