Civil Rights Movement Narrative

Improved Essays
Expanding the Narrative For years the Civil Rights Movement is taught and understood by centering the men involved. By discussing the movement through an androcentric narrative, the contributions and sacrifices made by Black women during this time goes ignored. During the Civil Rights Movement, Black women protested and organized in various ways for the Black community. However, as a result of sexist attitudes in the movement, actions have often been credited and overshadowed by the men who worked alongside them. Yet, as time progresses, and the stories of these overlooked women are reclaimed, nuance has been brought into the discourse regarding the Civil Rights Movement. The androcentric narrative of the movement ignores the contributions …show more content…
Black woman were fighting the intersecting issues of racism and sexism during the Civil Rights Movement. As mentioned earlier, the march that Annie Pearl Avery led did not receive public attention. Yet, when “the men from SNCC and (Congress of Racial Equality) made a freedom walk” they received a significant amount of attention (Avery). In addition, the female members of SNCC faced restrictions such as not be allowed to drive (Avery). Although fighting for racial equality, these organizations still practiced the sexist ideas of society towards their own members. However, sexism did not affect these groups alone; it was an issue that occurred in the general Black community as well. When Diane Nash made the decision to turn herself into the police and got to jail pregnant, many people did not perceive this as her decision. In “They Are the Ones Who Got Scared” Nash reflects on the people who would tell her husband, Reverend James Bevel “you shouldn’t make your wife do that.” People did not believe that Nash was capable or willing to make a decision such as this one. Instead, they credited her husband. The androcentric narrative continues to promote the sexism that Black women like Avery and Nash faced during this time. By excluding the stories of what Avery did independently, or connecting all of the work Nash did to her husband, the narrative continues to undermine the work of women. Thus, the androcentric narrative leads to a limited understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. However, recent efforts have begun to eradicate to narrative in order to create better discussions about the

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