#2: James Meredith – Meredith was the first Black person to attend the University of Mississippi, and tirelessly worked to register voters there in the 1960s. He even survived an assassination attempt as he led a march for the rights of Black voters! Today, he is an author and speaker on Black liberation.
#3: Claudette Colvin – Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus, Claudette Colvin, then 15, did the same thing. She was arrested and thrown into a Montgomery jail. Today she’s a retired nurse.
#4: Ruby Bridges – Though she was only six years old at the time, Bridges fearlessly became the face of school integration as she was escorted by federal marshals to school each day in New Orleans. Today Bridges teaches about racism.
#5: Diane Nash – The force behind the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), lunch counter-protests, and Freedom Riders, Nash continues to fight for housing rights for our people today.
As these activists demonstrate, the civil rights movement was RECENT history, and we should not just “get over” it and pretend our fight is done. We must continue to challenge the systems that oppress us!