African American Civil Rights Movement Essay

1552 Words Nov 2nd, 2015 7 Pages
When examining the African American Civil Rights Movement from a historical perspective, historians and scholars have focused predominantly on the lives and influences of a few, celebrated characters. For example, early abolitionist advocates, such as Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass, and twentieth-century civil rights leaders Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. have received significant attention and justifiably achieved revered status among scholars and non-academics alike. However, few individuals beyond the narrow world of academia have heard of America’s first, southern, female abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké. The Grimké sisters, who belonged to the powerful planter aristocracy in South Carolina, were arguably two of the leading female civil rights activists of the pre-Civil War era. They authored numerous pamphlets, letters, resolutions, and speeches condemning the evils of slavery and racial prejudice, participated in several anti-slavery conventions during the 1830s, and advocated complete social, civil, and religious equality for African Americans and women. However, despite their early successes as southern abolitionists and pioneers of social reform, the Grimké sisters have remained enigmas in the modern, academic world. Historian Gerda Lerner surmises that the reasons for their relative obscurity are undoubtedly related to the nineteenth century bias against unconventional women. Consequently, neither…

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