Civil Rights Leaders
March 6, 2015
Civil Rights Leaders
Many African American men and women stood on the front lines for civil rights. These leaders fought for the right to vote and have the voices of the African American community heard. These leaders just didn’t consist on people only protesting for their equal rights, however. Some were famed authors, poets, play writes and inventors. Two influential civil rights activists that come to mind are Maya Angelo and Jesse Jackson. These two helped in the fight for equal rights, but they also were much more than that. They lived completely different lifestyles and accomplished many different tasks within their lives.
Jesse Burns, also known as Jesse Jackson, was born on October 8, 1941 in Greenville, South Carolina (Dyson, 2006). His father always noted him as being a gifted child. Jesse’s father recalls Jesse saying that one day he would be a preacher and lead his congregation ...view middle of the document...
Martin Luther King also appointed Jesse as head of the SCLC Operation Breadbasket. After the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, Jesse Jackson decided to leave the SCLC and founded Operation PUSH. Jesse Jackson strived for the equality of blacks in our society. He was very head strong in regards to having black employees become a part of white owned businesses. He also strived for the community to do well in school and to always have the highest self esteem one could obtain for themselves. By 1984, he decided that it was time for an African American to run for candidacy so he was on the political trail. Although his political trail was short lived, he did manage to get his message across to different minorities of different economic backgrounds. Similar to Jesse Jackson, but yet extremely different, Maya Angelou had a different aspect that she went on.
Marguerite Annie Johnson, formerly known as Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri (Christian, 2006). Her childhood was not greatest seeing as her parents split when they were young. She was later raised by her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas with her brother. Like Jesse Jackson, she was also a representative for the African American Community and equality, but she also fought for women’s rights as well. Her famed book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a vivid autobiography of the life she lived. She would later explain when she was 8 years old her mother’s boyfriend raped her. When they later went to court, and Maya spoke up for herself, the mother’s boyfriend was killed by her uncles in revenge. Maya blamed herself for this tragic event and didn’t speak for 5 long years, unless she was talking to her brother. Her booked earned her the title of being the first African American woman to write a non-fiction best seller. Maya Angelou was more than just an author, she was also a poet, a feminist, singer, and dancer. She worked alongside Malcolm X and Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement.
Christian, B. T. (2006). Angelou, Maya. In C. A. Palmer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 91-92).
Dyson, M. E. (2006). Jackson, Jesse. In C. A. Palmer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of African- American Culture and History (2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 1137-1140).