News / USA

Civil Rights Pioneers Remember Struggle for Equal Rights

Civil Rights Pioneers Remember Struggle for Equal Rightsi
X
Chris Simkins
June 27, 2014 11:58 PM
Many people across the U.S. are marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law. The law won final passage after years of civil rights protests in which people lost their lives . VOA's Chris Simkins introduces us to two women who were on the frontlines of the protest movement that changed the country forever.
Civil Rights Pioneers Remember Struggle for Equal Rights
Chris Simkins

On July 2, many people across the United States are marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law. 

It's a sweeping piece of legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race and ended racial segregation in schools, the workplace and in public accommodations. The law won final passage after years of civil rights protests in which people lost their lives.

Millions marched around the country for equal rights -- led by Martin Luther King -- during the 1960's. It was a cause that brought Dorie Ladner and Joan Mulholland together more than 50 years ago. They met in racially-segregated Mississippi.

It was Dorie's first experience working with a white woman in the civil rights movement.

"She was also interested in not only the plight of my people, but her people as well. We were trying to erase this evil segregation that was bothering all of us. I found it phenomenal and embraced her," Ladner said.

Forming a bond

The two women stayed in the same dormitory at Tugaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and participated in civil rights demonstrations there. Mulholland was arrested twice for her actions, but that didn't stop her.

"I learned in church about 'do onto others as you would have them do onto you' and in high school we had to memorize the Declaration of Independence," Mulholland said. "'We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.' Practice what we preach and that's what propelled me into it."

The two took part in the 1963 March on Washington. Less than a month later, four black girls were killed in a racially-motivated church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. Both women attended the funerals.

"It had a profound impact on me and made me more determined to try and eradicate this evil that was permeating through our society," said Ladner.

United effort

More than five decades later, the women are sharing their experiences with younger generations across the country. They tell them that one of their proudest moments came when President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act which outlawed discrimination and ended racial segregation.  

"The students took it to the streets and the lawyers took it to the courts. And the press took it to the world. And not anybody did it by themselves," said Mulholland.

"The passing of the civil rights bill was something, one of the things we fought for and has brought about a new day, what we would call 'social change' to a large extent. Change in the laws of the country, change in attitudes of people," said Ladner.

Dorie and Joan said despite coming from different backgrounds they will always share a special bond -- one that's endured through the struggles and victories of the civil rights movement.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid