Dr. Martha Biondi: Women and the Civil Rights Movement

Joe Daddario, Staff Writer /Photographer




Photo courtesy of Historical Photos / Google Images
Black women fight for a myriad of issues in the struggle for Civil Rights. Dr. Martha Biondi spoke about the struggles of women being recognized for their contributions then and now.









Dr. Martha Biondi came to Northeastern on Thursday the 19th do give a talk on “Women of the Civil Rights Movement,” focusing on female student involvement. She lauded women such as Irene Morgan, Eva Jefferson Paterson, Ella Baker and more. Dr. Biondi focused on activism that women participated and led that was on the ground, grass root orientated and usually unrecognized. Morgan, eleven years earlier than Rosa Parks, refused to give up her bus seat on a bus that was traveling cross state lines. She went to court and eventually Supreme Court, where she won and her case was implemented as the standard.

Dr. Biondi also related both Paterson and Baker to the current occupy movement. Baker’s philosophy and movement was centered on the pursuit of participatory democracy. She urged for schools to be more democratic and enroll more African American students with more control on African studies curriculums.

Paterson was known as “the peaceful warrior.” She debated vice president Spiro Agnew at the age of 20 and was not only fighting for black studies courses, more African American teachers and was against the anti-war movement. Dr. Biondi’s talk not only showed to real power behind the civil rights movement but also related to current times. Like the occupy movement the instances she talked about were sparked seemingly randomly due to the national mood. Also like the occupy movement Dr. Biondi stressed the importance of students during the black power movement.

Dr. Biondi has written two books “To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City” and “The Rise of the Reparations Movements” focusing on 20th century African American history and a forthcoming book titled “Student Protest, ‘Law and Order’ and the Origins of African American Studies in California.”

Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 20:01