Shining a spotlight on women in the civil rights movement

During the historic March on Washington in late August of 1963, hundreds of thousands filled the National Mall and many powerful voices of the civil rights movement took to the podium.  Few of those voices, however, were female ones. That does not mean that women did not hold vital roles in organizing these turning points of American history.

The roles of women who worked in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) are recounted in Hands on the Freedom Plow, which contains personal accounts by women who endured harassment, jail and much more while standing up for equal rights.

Hands on the Freedom Plow co-editor Judy Richardson recently spoke with National Public Radio’s All Things Considered about the important part that female SNCC members played in pushing the movement forward.

“Women weren’t just the foot soldiers to the movement,” Richardson says in the interview. “We weren’t just the backup singers — we were at the mic!”


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