Civil Rights Leaders - Booker T. Washington

Despite being born into servitude in 1896, Booker T. Washington became well-known at the age of 25 after founding The Tuskegee Institute. Booker T. Washington, a well-known African American spokesperson, made his Atlanta Address in 1895, also known as The Atlanta Compromise, which drew a lot of attention and condemnation from other civil rights activists like W.E.B. Dubois and the NAACP. (Wintz, 19). This was due to Washington's advocacy of African Americans' total submission to white rule in order to prevent severe White Backlash and place a greater emphasis on education. Born in 1963 W.E.B. Dubois was also an American civil rights activist, apart from this, he was also a historian, sociologist as well as an author and editor. After becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became one of the co-founders of “National Association for Advancement of Colored People, (NSSCP). Later he gained prominence as Niagara Movement‘s leader who helped in advocating equal rights for all the Africa Americans. He strongly protested against racism, discrimination, lynching as well as the Jim Crow laws, moreover as a proponent of the Pan African Movement and author he was actively engaged fight for the independence of all the African colonies (Wintz, 183).

Martin Luther; an American Baptist minister, born 1929, is considered as one of the most prominent human rights and civil rights activist. He advanced civil rights for the African Americans through tactics such as civil disobedience and non-violence. He was responsible for leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and non-violence protests in both Alabama and Birmingham. Moreover, also aided in organizing the March on Washington where he delivered his “I have a Dream Speech” (Rummel, 123 & 124). Unlike other leaders, he his efforts in non-violence resistance and fight against racial inequality were recognized through the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Malcolm X was an outspoken civil and human rights activist and considered as a public voice for all the African American of Muslim faith. Born in 1925 Malcolm Luther King also gained international recognition in the Middle East, Europe and Africa owing to his numerous travels abroad where he actively engaged in political activism (Rummel, 128). Unlike other African American civil rights activists challenged the non-violent pursuit of equality. As a result, he rejected the “too moderate stance” on matters of discrimination and racism thereby, calling for the use of aggressive means against the Whites.

Marcus Gravely like of the civil activists is recognized for his role in civil rights Movements such as the Pan-Africanism, and his movement the “Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League.” Gravely also founded the Negro World Newspaper as well as the Black Star Line and the Negro Factories Corporation (Wintz, 168). His steamship the Black Star Line was used for the purpose of transporting African Americans back to Africa and also to enable them to engage in trading activities. Unlike other activists, he primarily focused on creating black economic situations as he believed that this would aid in the struggle for Black freedom.

Born in 1941, Jesse Louis Jackson; a Baptist Minister is one of the most prominent American Civil Rights Activist. Unlike the other historical activists, Jesse Jackson is also a political leader and was once the candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. He was also elected as a senator for District Columbiana in the 1990s. Moreover, unlike the other civil rights activist, he also focuses on other issues such as the war on drugs, healthcare, and equal administration of justice for all human beings (Rev. Jesse Jackson Bio).

Civil Rights Activists

Jackie Robison widely recognized for being the first African American to play baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers was born in 1947. He also aided the Dodgers to reach the National League Championship, and as a result, he was introduced to Baseball’s hall of fame. As a civil rights activist, Robinson joined the NAACP and later became the chairman of the “Freedom Fund Drive. Robinson also aided in the creation of the Freedom National Bank which provided African Americans and other minority people with business loans (Jackie Robinson: Desegregation Begins with a Baseball).

During the World War Black airmen were highly discriminated against, due to heightened racial segregation following the Jim Crow laws; as a result, the Tuskegee Airmen movement was created with a purpose od desegregating the army. Therefore, unlike other activists, the Tuskegee Airmen movement was made up of Black Airmen. However, they also expanded their activism efforts by aligning with leaders such as Martin Luther King.

Born in 1913, Rosa Parks became an iconic civil rights activist after refusing to relinquish her seat; which was on the “Whites Section Only,” to a white person in a segregated bus. Her protest resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott held by African Americans which became an important symbol for most of the modern Civil Rights Movement International (Civil Rights Walk of Fame; Rosa Parks). Moreover, she also worked with civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King.

Little Rock Nine was a civil rights movement headed by Daisy Bates, the movement comprised of nine teenagers from Arkansas who broke the racial segregation barriers brought about by the Jim Crow laws in education during the civil rights period. By contesting the public schools' segregation, the nine students became the first African American students to attend the “all-white” school Little Rock High School. The activists also worked closely with NAACP to eliminate segregation in education.

John Lewis is widely recognized as a civil rights activist due to his active role in human and civil rights as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Moreover, he was also at the forefront of the march that resulted in police violence which occurred on the Edmund Pettus. The landmark march resulted in what is referred to as the “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis was also active in non-violent protests against segregation in public places as a result of the Jim Crow Laws (Civil Rights; John Lewis).

Greensboro Four was a group of four young men who actively engaged in sit-ins as a non-violent means of protest against racial discrimination in North Carolina in 1960. While the Greensboro protests were not the only sit-ins protest in the US they were, however, they gained much publicity, and as a result, they led to the removal of racial segregation policies in Woolworth departmental stores (Civil Rights and the Greensboro Four). Owing to this achievement, they attracted the attention of other African American students who also joined the protests all over the US. Mohammed Ali was not only the greatest boxer in the US history but also one of the most vocal advocates for both human and civil rights (Staufenberg). Ali was banned from participation in the sport after he stood against the Vietnam War, racial discrimination of the Africa Americans as well as Islam phobia shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

Work Cited

“Civil Rights and the Greensboro Four”. American Constitutional Society, (2010).

“Civil Rights; John Lewis”. “Civil Rights”. National Park Services, (n.d.). “

“International Civil Rights Walk of Fame; Rosa Parks”. National Park Services, (n.d.).

“Jackie Robinson: Desegregation Begins with a Baseball”. Constitutional Rights Foundation, (n.d.).

“Rev. Jesse Jackson Bio”. Rainbow Push Coalition, (n.d).

Rummel, J. “African-American Social Leaders and Activists; A to Z of African Americans” Infobase Publishing, (2014). Pp. 214.

Staufenberg, J. “Muhammad Ali: symbol of the civil rights movement” Independent, (2016).

Wintz, C. “African American Political Thought, 1890-1930: Washington, Du Bois, Garvey and Randolp”. Routledge, (2015). Pp. 274.

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