Please Note:This post and the accompanying article were written by Scott Cerreta.
Angela Davis is an African American political activist, philosopher, and retired professor. Davis was a leader of the Communist Party USA and, though never an official member, also had close ties to the Black Panther Party.
She rose to prominence as an activist in the Civil Rights Movements of the nineteen sixties, and was mostly affiliated with the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee until the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., after which she joined the Communist Party. Davis may best be known for her arrest as a suspected conspirator in the failed attempt to free George Jackson from a courtroom in Marin County, California on August 7th, 1970.
In 1903 Fuller returned to the United States invigorated and ready to express her ideas through sculptor. However she was met with racism at every turn. Read her biography to discover how she overcame discrimination
One of my favorite quotes by Malcolm X is "There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time."
Often, when I think about the struggles that everyday men and women faced during the Jim Crow Era and even in some cases today, I can't help but think about the importance of continuously fighting for change.
The Jim Crow Era in United States history began towards the end of the Reconstruction Period and lasted until 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Yet, the Jim Crow Era was more than a body of legislative acts on the federal, state and local levels that barred African-Americans from being full American citizens. It was also a way of life that allowed African-Americans to be oppressed economically, socially and barred the masses from achieving an adequate education.
Yet throughout the Jim Crow Era African-Americans fought to end the prevalent disenfranchisement.
Educators such as Booker T. Washington and Nannie Helen Burroughs established institutions that would train African-American men and women in various trades--allowing them the ability to overcome economic disenfranchisement.
Intellectuals such as William Monroe Trotter , in stark opposition to Washington's philosophy of not fighting against racial inequality but becoming self sufficient, provided men and women the opportunity to voice their opinions in organizations such as the Niagara Movement and the NAACP.
And finally, how can we forget the power of the pen?
My favorite muckraker, Ida B. Wells wrote about the horrors of lynching and singlehandedly started the anti-lynching campaign.
Although the Jim Crow Era was able to thrive in American society for almost one hundred years and we still bear the brunt of this horrid period today, I am always mesmirized by the daring spirit of men and women who accepted the challenge to fight for change.
The Harlem Renaissance is often remembered for its novelists and poets, visual artists and musicians.
But what about plays published during this period?
This month, I've collected a list of Harlem Renaissance playwrights. Writers such as George Douglass Johnson, Joseph Seamon Cotter Jr., and Regina Anderson created plays exploring themes such as lynching, racism and the impact of the Great Migration on African-Americans.