Civil Rights and Protests

Race Riots

What role did black women play in the March on Washington?

Women played vital roles in the Civil Rights Movement; nevertheless, they were thrust into the background of the August 28, 1963, march. No woman marched down Constitution Avenue with Martin Luther King Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and other male civil rights leaders. No woman went to the White House afterward to meet with President John F. Kennedy. However, because of Anna Arnold Hedgeman (1899–1990), the only woman on the march’s planning committee and a major architect of the march, as a last-minute tribute at the event the Negro Women Fighters for Freedom Award was given to Daisy Bates, Diane Nash, Rosa Parks, Gloria Richardson, Myrlie Evers, and Mrs. Herbert Lee, the wife of a murdered farmer in Amite County, Mississippi.


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