10 Black Women Who Made America Great

5feet12inches:

Written by NewsOne Staff on December 21, 2011

Men tend to get all of the credit for everything, especially the Civil Rights Movement. While Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Malcolm X are known as the faces of the movement, black history is brimming with women whose contributions are equally noteworthy. Here’s our list of black women who helped to advance the race under the most challenging of circumstances.

1) Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel is best-known for winning the 1940 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind.” While her role is widely considered demeaning to blacks, viewing McDaniel’s performance through such a narrow lens overlooks the dignity with which she handled her limited-acting opportunities.  McDaniel’s Oscar acceptance speech showed a grace and class that should have put the racist directors, executives, producers and actors of Hollywood to shame.

2) Fannie Lou Hamer 

Fannie Lou Hamer was easily one of the hardest-working women during the Civil Rights Movement. She was a plain-spoken and devout woman known for her fiery speeches at the various civil rights conferences she attended. Hamer was critical in organizing the Mississippi Freedom Summera 1964 effort to register as many black voters as possible. At the time, voter registration was a dangerous task that could easily get one killed by white segregationists determined to keep blacks powerless. Later, she reflected on her fearless work:

I guess if I’d had any sense, I’d have been a little scared – but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it seemed they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember.

Now that is what we call “hard core”!

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    Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar acceptance speech.
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    Men tend to get all of the credit for everything, especially the Civil Rights Movement. While Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and...
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