Activists of past building better future

African American activists during civil rights movement influences present day equal-rights movements



Singer, song writer and African American activist during the civil rights movement, Nina Simone.

Madison Lewis, Sports Editor

One does not need to memorize a list of dates that each incredibly influential event occurred, but one should know about all the hard work and impediments that African Americans encountered on a day to day basis, just to obtain the rights they should have already had.

When one thinks of African American activists during the civil rights movement, they often think of people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks. Though King and Parks both played a key role in African Americans gaining equal rights, there are several activists that often have their names overlooked because they did not give long speeches or they weren’t popular leaders in  huge crowds of protesters.

One African American activist that is often overlooked is Nina Simone. Simone was a singer/songwriter that wrote over 40 albums throughout the civil rights movement. She was also a pioneer and inspirational leader, for she wrote several songs that related to the struggles that African Americans faced. One of her songs was banned in the South because it was expressing how poorly African Americans were treated and how a needed change should occur with relation to how African Americans were being treated as objects instead of people. A majority of people disagreed with her song lyrics and continued to treat African Americans poor, refusing  to give them equal rights. Since Simone was sick of songs that were purely protests, she wanted to send out a larger message. She wanted people to come to the realization that African Americans have been pushed to the side and have been treated like objects for too long.

Simone has made a huge impact on the music industry with relation to African American artists. She took some of the first steps towards not only women getting their voices heard in the midst of all the madness, but also for African Americans that were trying to pursue a career in the music industry. Her music and her desire to lead African Americans towards gaining equal rights was very effective, for there are a countless amounts of famous, successful African American artists now. She used her form of art as a way to open society’s eyes, which had a great influence on African Americans now having equal rights and being viewed the same as the stereotypical American citizen for the time.  

The importance of being well-educated on African American history with the United States specifically will never dwindle. Though King and Parks played large roles towards equal rights being achieved, so did numerous other African American activists.