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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs