Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

2.3: "Women in the Civil Rights Movement"

  • Page ID
    229872
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    Chapter 6 Objectives

    Students will be able to

    • Practice vocabulary with an increased understanding of the chapter words
    • Employ the Cornell note-taking strategy while reading
    • Read “Women in the Civil Rights Movement” by Barrett Smith and answer comprehension questions based on this reading
    • Make connections between this chapter and previously assigned texts
    • Employ strategies for paraphrasing an author's idea
    • Correct errors in Subject-verb agreement and other common grammar errors
    • Edit and revise to create a final draft of a 5-paragraph essay about social change
    • Develop complete sentences while editing for run-on or fragment errors

    Vocabulary Introduction

    Exercise 1 Prior Knowledge

    Look at the words in bold in Exercise 2 without reading the example sentences. Rate your current knowledge of the word before doing the unit exercises. Use the numbered scale and write the number in front of the sentences in Exercise 2. With each exercise and by the end of the unit, your knowledge should work toward a "4", which means you will know the word, can explain it and give an example. It is expected that you will mark many words with a "1" or "2" now since they might be completely new words.

    1. I do not know this word, and I have never heard of it before.

    2. I have heard of this word before. It sounds familiar.

    3. I can give an example of this word, but I cannot explain it.

    4. I know this word. I can explain it and give an example.

    Exercise 2 Definitions

    Read the sentences below. Guess the meaning of the words in bold based on the example sentence(s). Circle the best definition of the word in bold.

    ____ 1. I cannot recognize some famous celebrities without makeup.

    Your definition:

    ____ 2. Parents play an important role in their children’s education.

    Your definition:

    ____ 3. Active students participate in class discussions.

    Your definition:

    ____ 4. The new taxes will impact the economy.

    Your definition:

    ____ 5. The president represents the United States when meeting with other countries.

    Your definition:

    ____ 6. Her good grades inspired her to continue to study hard.

    Your definition:

    ____ 7. To prevent cancer, you should wear sunscreen every day.

    Your definition:

    Reading

    Exercise 3

    Write Cornell Notes on a separate piece of paper.

    Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Barret Smith

    The Civil Rights Movement was a social movement in the United States that fought to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. While we continue to recognize the leaders of this movement and those who contributed, the men of the movement are far more celebrated and remembered than the women. In this informational text, Barrett Smith discusses the role that women played in the Civil Rights Movement. As you read, take notes on how women contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and how others responded to their contributions.

    fHXLQvqzJkubls8d42Eto0eP6w4Ykh2UuWvdUbmJWma_GJEwwxRSQ0LCxUEu1INNM2YjmHeyNNqTC8tlWnrCA8soMTZHUG26UNwvGFw1Ix21qSOOxth7pR-th5veI1Y5_6Z6fe8

    1When most people think of the Civil Rights Movement and the people who led it, they think of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and other men. But in reality, women were very important participants in and organizers of the movement. Though women at the time were expected to take more of a background role, many women became leaders of organizations and protests. However, they are often forgotten in history. Rosa Parks is the most well-known woman in the Civil Rights Movement, but the way her story is told makes her seem like more of a symbol than the important leader that she really was.

    2Many people think Rosa Parks was just a tired seamstress who didn’t feel like getting up on the bus one day, but in reality, she had been involved in planning and organizing against racism for years. The day she refused to get up on the bus was not the first time she had thought about resisting this way; in fact, she was influenced by Jo Ann Robinson, the head of the Women’s Political Council who called for a bus boycott after being verbally attacked by a white bus driver in 1949. After the actions of Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, women from many different organizations became the leading force that kept the boycott going. They arranged carpools and had bake sales to raise money for alternative transportation for those people who normally took the bus. When it became clear that the boycott was working and starting to have an influence, men took control and came to the forefront. At the first mass meeting after the boycott, the men in charge refused to let Rosa Parks speak. They said she had already done enough.

    3This is an example of the huge impact women had on the movement even though they remained in the background. Here are some other women who were important to the Civil Rights Movement:

    Ella Baker

    4Ella Baker was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), two very important organizations in the Civil Rights Movement. She helped spread the movement and persuade women and young people to get involved. She also started a northern support group that raised money and supplies to help people in the South.

    Septima Clark

    5Septima Clark was an activist whose work laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement. She was a teacher who created a literacy program to teach African Americans to read and write. During this time, many states used literacy tests to prevent African Americans — many of whom had diminished access to education — from voting.

    Viola Liuzzo

    6Viola Liuzzo was a high school dropout and mother of five who became involved in the Civil Rights Movement when she returned to school. She was shot at age 39 while transporting freedom marchers in Alabama.

    7There were many more women who were key participants in the Civil Rights Movement. Women were the majority of members in many local chapters of civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black Panther Party. They were also the majority at many grassroots protests. Women organized these events, cooked and prepared for rallies, and then cleaned up afterwards before getting ready for the next one. As Mildred Bond Roxborough, a secretary of the NAACP said, “without women we wouldn’t have an NAACP.”

    8However, in spite of the importance of women in the Civil Rights Movement, they had to deal with sexism and discrimination within the movement. When they asked for a representative at the 1963 March on Washington, the men organizing the march denied their request. They were offered seats on the platform and told they already had the famous gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, as a representative. However, Jackson was not allowed to make a speech. Women were disappointed by being denied adequate representation, but they still supported the march because they knew it would have a huge impact on the country.

    9Black women were oppressed not only by racism but also by sexism. Even within the Civil Rights Movement, they were often denied positions of leadership, overshadowed by men, and sexually harassed. Women leaders had to fight for resources as the men usually had first pick. But when they tried to speak out against the sexism in the Civil Rights Movement, the men said that they were taking the focus away from what it was really about — racism. Because of this, women felt like they had to choose one battle to fight. At the time, many Black women thought race was more important.

    10The Black Power Movement started in 1966 as a movement that called for Black empowerment. As part of the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement sought different ways to achieve and organize for equal rights and made involvement for women in the movement even harder. Before the Black Power Movement, organizations often made decisions by taking a vote and coming to a collective agreement, which made it easier for women to fill leadership positions. The leadership of the Black Power Movement was hierarchical, and men were always in charge.

    11The discrimination that African American women — and many other women of color — faced in the Civil Rights Movement inspired many to join the feminist movements that arose in the 1970s. However, these women did not allow discrimination to prevent them from being part of the fight for racial justice, seeking leadership positions, and struggling within the movement for equal treatment and acknowledgment.

    Women in the Civil Rights Movement” by Barrett Smith is licensed by CommonLit under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Text-Dependent Questions

    Exercise 4

    For the following questions, choose the best answer.

    1. PART A: Which of the following identifies a central idea of the text?

    A. Black women had an immense impact on the success of the Civil Rights Movement but were frequently disrespected and went unacknowledged because of their gender.

    B. While Black women made significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, they were unable to participate to the extent that men did because of their responsibilities at home.

    C. Black women were prevented from contributing to the Civil Rights Movement because men feared they would have to endure violence.

    D. While Black women believed that gender equality was more important than racial equality, men pressured them to take up the fight for racial equality.

    2. PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Part A?

    A. “When it became clear that the boycott was working and starting to have an influence, men took control and came to the forefront.” (Paragraph 2)

    B. “Women organized these events, cooked and prepared for rallies, and then cleaned up afterwards before getting ready for the next one.” (Paragraph 7)

    C. “However, in spite of the importance of women in the Civil Rights Movement, they had to deal with sexism and discrimination within the movement.” (Paragraph 8)

    D. “But when they tried to speak out against the sexism in the Civil Rights Movement, the men said that they were taking the focus away from what it was really about — racism.” (Paragraph 9)

    3. How does the discussion of Rosa Parks in paragraph 2 contribute to the text?

    A. It shows how Black women’s fight for gender equality helped inspire the Civil Rights Movement.

    B. It shows how Black women’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement have been minimized in history, in part due to the efforts of men.

    C. It shows how Black women were responsible for planning protests during the Civil Rights Movement and men only took part in the protests.

    D. It shows how Black women were uncomfortable with taking a leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement because of the sexism they faced.

    4. Which quotation from paragraph 2 best shows the impact Rosa Parks had on the Civil Rights Movement?

    A. “Many people think Rosa Parks was just a tired seamstress who didn’t feel like getting up on the bus one day”

    B. “The day she refused to get up on the bus was not the first time she had thought about resisting this way”

    C. “After the actions of Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, women from many different organizations became the leading force that kept the boycott going.”

    D. “At the first mass meeting after the boycott, the men in charge refused to let Rosa Parks speak. They said she had already done enough.”

    Reading Skill-Paraphrasing

    Paraphrasing is giving the same ideas of a reading in your own words. Unlike a summary, the length should be similar to the original. There are five important steps to paraphrase correctly.

    1. Read the original text carefully for a general idea of its meaning.

    2. Circle the key words or phrases—ideas that you cannot leave out.

    3. Using a combination of the paraphrasing strategies described below, change the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure of the original.

    4. Compare your paraphrase with the original to see if it fits the criteria of a good paraphrase.

    5. Add the source information from the original text.

    Exercise 5 Paraphrasing Strategies

    Each strategy below has an example original sentence from the reading Women in the Civil Rights Movement written by Barrett Smith. Notice that the original sentence has quotation marks because it is copied word for word. However, the revised does not have quotation marks because it has been changed. Also, it has the author’s last name in parenthesis to give credit to the author. In the exercise below, you will practice one strategy at a time. However, when you paraphrase for a paragraph or essay, more than one strategy should be used.

    1. Find synonyms for some of the words. .

    Original: “She helped spread the movement and persuade women and young people to get involved.”

    Revised: She assisted in extending the movement and convincing women and young people to participate (Smith).

    Now You Try

    Original:When they asked for a representative at the 1963 March on Washington, the men organizing the march denied their request.”

    Revised:

    2. Move phrases: Move parts of a sentence to change the sentence structure.

    Original: “They still supported the march because they knew it would have a huge impact on the country.”

    Revised: Because they knew it would have a huge impact on the country, they still supported the march (Smith).

    Now You Try

    Original: “During this time, many states used literacy tests to prevent African American people from voting.”

    Revised:

    3. Change voice: Make active sentences passive and passive ones, active.

    Original: “Black women were oppressed not only by racism but also by sexism.”

    Revised: Not only racism but also sexism oppressed Black women (Smith).

    Now You Try

    Original: “Women were disappointed by being denied adequate representation.”

    Revised:

    4. Change parts of speech: Change nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, etc.

    Original: “When they asked for a representative at the 1963 March on Washington, the men organizing the march denied their request.”

    Revised: When they asked for a representation at the 1963 March on Washington, the male organizers denied their request (Smith).

    Now You Try

    Original: “In spite of the importance of women in the Civil Rights Movement, they had to deal with sexism and discrimination within the movement.”

    Revised:

    5. Combine sentences: Use new connecting words to combine shorter phrases and sentences or making long sentences into shorter ones.

    Original: “Women organized these events, cooked and prepared for rallies, and then cleaned up afterwards before getting ready for the next one.”

    Revised: Women organized these events, cooked, and prepared for rallies. They also cleaned up afterwards before getting ready for the next one (Smith).

    Now You Try

    Original: “She was shot at age 39 while transporting freedom marchers in Alabama.”

    Revised:

    Exercise 6 Practice Paraphrasing

    Below are sentences from the reading Women in the Civil Rights Movement. Paraphrase the sentences using more than one strategy and putting the source (as seen in the examples above).

    1. “They arranged carpools and had bake sales to raise money for alternative transportation for those people who normally took the bus.”

    Strategies used:

    2. “The day she refused to get up on the bus was not the first time she had thought about resisting this way.”

    Strategies used:

    3. “When it became clear that the boycott was working and starting to have an influence, men took control and came to the forefront.”

    Strategies used:

    4. “Though women at the time were expected to take more of a background role, many women became leaders of organizations and protests.”

    Strategies used:

    Grammar- Subject and Verb Agreement

    Basic Rules

    The verb in an English sentence needs to reflect (or “agree”) the grammatical number and “person” of the subject. Huh? This seems complicated, but it really doesn’t need to be.

    1. Adding -s or -es to verbs

    If the subject is he, she, or it (3rd person singular), then -s or -es is added to the present verb form.

    I play soccer.

    Karina plays soccer.

    We do our chores every Saturday morning.

    He does his chores every Saturday morning.

    2. Irregular Verbs

    There are several irregular verbs in English. Look at the most common ones below.

    1. Be-Present and Past Tenses

    I am a teacher.

    You are a student.

    It is new.

    I was tired.

    They were happy.

    2. Have-Present Tense

    I have two children.

    He has one child.


    Practicing the Basics of Subject and Verb Agreement

    Exercise 7

    Circle the correct verb for each sentence.

    1. I (brush/brushes) my teeth twice a day.
    2. You (wear/wears) the same shoes every time we go out.
    3. He (kick/kicks) the soccer ball into the goal.
    4. She (watch/watches) foreign films.
    5. Catherine (hide/hides) behind the door.
    6. We (want/wants) to have dinner with you.
    7. You (work/works) together to finish the project.
    8. They (need/needs) to score another point to win the game.
    9. It (eat/eats) four times a day.
    10. David (fix/fixes) his own motorcycle.
    Exercise 8

    Complete the following sentences by writing the correct present tense form of be, have, or do.

    1. I ________ sure that you will succeed.
    2. They ________ front-row tickets to the show.
    3. He ________ a great Elvis impersonation.
    4. We ________ so excited to meet you in person!
    5. She ________ a fever and a sore throat.
    6. You ________ not know what you are talking about.
    7. You ________ all going to pass this class.
    8. She ________ not going to like that.
    9. It ________ appear to be the right size.
    10. They ________ ready to take this job seriously.

    Common Errors in Subject and Verb Agreement

    Errors in subject-verb agreement may occur when

    • a sentence contains a compound subject;
    • the subject of the sentence is separate from the verb;
    • the subject of the sentence is an indefinite pronoun, such as anyone or everyone

    Compound Subjects

    A compound subject is formed by two or more nouns and the coordinating conjunctions and, or, or nor.

    Compound subjects combined with and take a plural verb form.

    Alicia and Miguel ride their bikes.

    The girls and the boys ride their bikes.

    Compound subjects combined with or and nor are treated separately. The verb must agree with the subject that is nearest to the verb.

    Neither Lizbeth nor Rigo wants to eat at that restaurant.

    Neither the kids nor the adults want to eat at that restaurant.

    Neither Lizbeth nor the kids want to eat at that restaurant.

    Neither the kids nor Lizbeth wants to eat at that restaurant.

    Either you or Jason takes the furniture out of the house.

    Either you or the twins take the furniture out of the house.

    Separation of Subjects and Verbs

    Subjects with a phrase or clause separating them from the verb can cause confusion and errors. If you have trouble finding the subject and verb, cross out or ignore the phrases and clauses that begin with prepositions or dependent words.

    The puppy under the table is my favorite. (prepositional phrase)

    The car that I bought has a sunroof. (relative clause)

    Indefinite Pronouns

    Indefinite pronouns refer to an unspecified person, thing, or number. When an indefinite pronoun serves as the subject of a sentence, you will often use a singular verb form. However, keep in mind that there are exceptions.

    Indefinite pronouns that take a singular verb: anybody, anyone, anything, each, everybody, everyone, everything, much, many, nobody, no one, nothing, somebody, someone, something

    Indefinite pronouns that can take a singular or plural verb: all, any, none, some

    Everybody in the kitchen sings along to the song on the radio.

    All the people in the kitchen sing along to the song on the radio.

    All the cake is on the floor.

    Everybody refers to a group, so the verb has an -s. In the second example, the word all refers to people, which is plural. In the last example, the word all refers to cake, which is singular.

    Practice Correcting Common Errors
    Exercise 9

    Correct the errors in subject-verb agreement in the following sentences. If there are no errors in subject-verb agreement, write OK.

    1. My dog and cats chases each other all the time.
    2. The books that are in my library is the best I have ever read.
    3. Everyone are going to the concert except me.
    4. My sister and brother cleans up after themselves.
    5. Some of the clothes is packed away in the attic.
    Exercise 10

    Correct the errors in subject-verb agreement in the following paragraph.

    Dear Hiring Manager,

    I feels that I am the ideal candidate for the receptionist position at your company. I has three years of experience as a receptionist in a company that is similar to yours. My phone skills and written communication is excellent. These skills, and others that I have learned on the job, helps me understand that every person in a company helps make the business a success. At my current job, the team always say that I am very helpful. Everyone appreciate when I go the extra mile to get the job done right. My current employer and coworkers feels that I am an asset to the team. I is efficient and organized. You can reach me by e-mail or phone. I looks forward to speaking with you in person.

    Thanks,

    Felicia Fellini

    “Grammar-Subject and Verb Agreement” is derived from “Subject-Verb Agreement” by Slayor Academy licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

    Social Change Essay Peer Review

    Exercise 11

    An important step in the writing process is peer review. When asking a peer to review your work, explain what areas you need assistance with. Ask specific questions so that their feedback will benefit you. When reviewing a classmate’s essay, provide feedback that will help the writer improve their essay even if your feedback is positive. For example, don’t just say, “Your essay is great!” or “This is boring.” Instead, explain what about the essay that you liked. For example, “I liked the way that you introduced the topic by providing a historical example. This helped me understand the main idea of your essay.” Another example is “I think that you repeated the word “change” too many times. Is there a way that you can add variety to the vocabulary you use?”

    Exercise 12 Peer Review Classmates’ Essays

    You will review a classmate’s essay. Provide feedback using the following guide:

    General

    Does the essay address the prompt given by the instructor?

    Format

    Is the following information in the top left corner: student’s name, instructor’s name, class, and date (day month year)?

    Are the writer’s last name and page number at the top right of every page?

    Is the title capitalized correctly?

    Are all of the paragraphs indented?

    Introduction

    Does the introductory paragraph have a strong thesis statement?

    Is the thesis the last sentence of the introduction?

    What introduction strategy is used?

    After reading the introduction, do you have a strong understanding of what the essay will be about?

    Body Paragraphs

    Do the body paragraphs have topic sentences?

    Does the major support in each paragraph relate to the topic sentence? Are there any irrelevant sentences?

    Are signal words used for supporting points and examples? Are they punctuated correctly?

    Conclusion

    Is there an appropriate signal for the conclusion paragraph?

    Is the thesis restated in the conclusion?

    What conclusion strategy is used?

    Is the conclusion only a summary of the points mentioned in the essay? (Change if so)

    Feedback

    What did you enjoy or like about the essay?

    What are two areas the writer should focus on revising? Be specific.

    Vocabulary Practice

    Exercise 13 Sentence Completion

    Complete the sentences using the vocabulary in the box below.

    recognize role participate

    inspire prevent impact

    Table 21 Chapter 10 Sentence Completion

    1. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ________________ many people to protest peacefully.

    2. Did Rosa Parks understand the important ________________ she played in the movement?

    3. To ________________ diabetes, you should limit the amount of soda beverages you consume each day.

    4. Can you ________________ which city someone is from based on their accent?

    5. Abdullah ________________ in a protest for women’s rights.

    6. My grandmother has had a great ________________ on my life.

    Exercise 14 Discussion Questions

    Take notes answering the questions below. Then discuss your answers with a partner or group.

    1. How can parents prevent children from joining gangs or behaving violently?

    2. Who inspires you to learn English? Explain.

    3. What roles do you play in your family? Explain.

    4. How have the movements in this chapter impacted you?


    This page titled 2.3: "Women in the Civil Rights Movement" is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rebecca Al Haider.

    • Was this article helpful?