In honor of Juneteenth 2021, Brown & Brave decided to highlight nine black women from The Jim Crow Era and The Civil Rights Movement. It was important for us to celebrate these women because during women’s suffrage and educational and political warfare for African-Americans, the frontlines were occupied by women whose identities were shadowbanned by white supremacy, and even other black men. At the helm of these movements and even prior to, voting and education rights were suppressed. Because of The Black Liberation Army and The Black Panther Party, more women’s voices were amplified which spread like wildfire. The legacy lives on.
Please help us pay homage to five of our black queens that represent
“The Year Of Madam X”
Assata Shakur was a leading figure in the 1970’s Black Liberation Army. She was given life for murder in 1977 after a her murder conviction but escaped to Cuba and was granted asylum.
Assata was part of the Pan-African revolutionary sentiment in the wake of Malcolm X’s assassination. Her involvement was deeper than sit-ins and protests; her activism was of the sort that led to open discussion of the possibility of a race war. She was among the self-styled revolutionaries who committed acts of violence that were defined as revolutionary, inspired by guerilla revolts in places like Cuba. This was deemed necessary for the impact of Black Empowerment and Black Womanhood.
FANNIE LOU HAMER
Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist whose passionate depiction of her own suffering in a racist society helped focus attention on the plight of African-Americans throughout the South.
She met civil rights activists there who were to encourage African-Americans to register to vote. Hamer became involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee after she faced incidents of voter suppression after she took the literacy test a third time in order to become a registered voter. She faced police brutality shortly thereafter and recovered from assaults in jail where she was placed on bed rest for over a month.
Fannie Lou Hamer helped to co-found The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in an effort to prevent the regional all-white Democratic m party’s attempts to stifle black voices and ensure there was a party that didn’t stand for any form of discrimination and exploitation. She is a pillar in Black History and today we honor her selfless efforts to advance black empowerment and voting rights for our people. Currently there is a $2M bounty on her head. She is identified as a domestic terrorist in the USA.
Born Alice Williams in 1947, Afeni Shakur was a member of the Black Panthers Party, becoming a respected and indispensable figure in the party. She revealed she specialized in raising bail money for jailed Panthers – while operating alongside Geronimo Pratt, who would later be named Tupac’s godfather.
In 1969, Shakur and 20 other members of the party were jailed while facing trial on bombing charges in New York; Shakur was pregnant with Tupac at the time. She and the other members of the Panther 21 group were eventually acquitted after an eight-month trial and released from prison in May 1971. The following month, she gave birth to Tupac in Harlem, New York on June 16th, 1971.
Afeni Shakur, who overcame being “poor single mother on welfare” as described in her son’s 1995 single “Dear Mama,” was a constant inspiration in Tupac’s music, as the late rapper dedicated many of his songs to the woman who tempered his artistic ability and revolutionary spirit. “Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mother’s place,” he said on “Dear Mama,” a tribute to Afeni that was later added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
SEPTIMA POINSETTE CLARK
Septima Poinsette Clark was an African-American educator and civil rights activist. She developed literacy and citizenship workshops that played an important role in the drive for voting rights and civil rights for African-Americans during The Civil Rights Movement.
Because of her grassroots citizenship education efforts, she was called the “Mother of the Movement” and the epitome of a “community teacher and intuitive fighter”.
Diane Judith Nash is an American civil rights activist, and a leader and strategist of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement. Nash's campaigns were among the most successful of the era.
Her efforts included the first successful civil rights campaign to integrate lunch counters (Nashville); the Freedom Riders, who desegregated interstate travel; co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); and co-initiating the Alabama Voting Rights Project and working on the Selma Voting Rights Movement. This helped gain Congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which authorized the federal government to oversee and enforce state practices to ensure that African Americans and other minorities were not prevented from registering and voting.