How Did Her Power Of the Pen Help Civil Rights?

Susie Revels Cayton
Leslie Taylor-Grover
November 19, 2020

Susie Revels Cayton was no stranger to racism. Her father was the first Black senator in the nation, and she had spent much of her life watching him fight racism in Mississippi as a child. But now things were different.

She was a grown woman with her own family and her own community. Far from the flatlands of the Mississippi Delta, Cayton was now in the Northwest, doing well in Seattle. She and her husband ran a large newspaper. Still, something bothered her.

Even in “progressive” Seattle, the Black community was still mistreated and discriminated against. They were forced into low-paying jobs and even banned from public schools! 

She was a leader in the local community, so had to do something. However, as a Black woman, her options for activism were limited. But she had a plan!

She would write! She would fight back against the lies and stereotypes being told about our people, and she used the oldest communication method on earth to achieve this – storytelling. Did her writing work to uplift our people?

Absolutely! Her stories encouraged self-love, education, spirituality, entrepreneurship, and fighting against discrimination. She was then able to organize other women around Black liberation. Cayton knew that controlling our own narratives would lead to liberation. What are some parts of your story that can inspire your people?

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