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Martin Luther King Day Names

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To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, we honor some of his fellow heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement.  It would be impossible to list all of them, so here are some of the most worthy namesakes.

AMELIA Boynton Robinson – brought Dr. King to Selma in 1953

ANGELA Davis  –radical Black activist, advocate of racial justice

CARLOTTA Walls – youngest member of the Little Rock Nine students who desegregated Central High School in 1957

CHARLAYNE Hunter-Gault –one of the first two African-American students to enter the University of Georgia in 1961

CLARA Luper – activist known as the ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’

CLAUDETTE Colvin – refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus nine months before Rosa Parks did

CORETTA Scott King – Dr. King’s full partner in the civil rights movement

DAISY Bates –  a key figure in the integration of Central High School in Little Rock

DOROTHY Cotton – the highest ranking female in Dr King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT –   a civil rights activist during her husband’s tenure as President.

ELLA  Baker – influential activist, key figure in the NAACP, SCLC and in the creation of the Student Noviolent Coordinating Committee

FANNIE Lou Hamer – outspoken activist, a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

LOLA Hendricks –  active in the 1963 Birmingham campaign

MAMIE Till-Mobley – mother of slain teenager Emmett Till became a tireless worker for racial justice

MARIAN Anderson – singer best remembered for her 1939 performance, arranged by Eleanor Roosevelt,  on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, after being banned from singing in Constitution Hall

MARVEL Cooke – first African-American journalist to work for a white-owned newspaper; active in the civil rights movement

MAYA Angelou – at the request of Dr. King, became a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

MELBA Beals –a member of the Little Rock Nine, who faced daily hostility, persecution and death threats

MINNIJEAN Brown—another member of the the Little Rock Nine

MODJESKA Monteith Simkins –a leader of public health and social reform and the civil rights movement in South Carolina

ODETTA –  the iconic folk singer was a leading voice for civil rights, joining Dr King in the march on Selma and singing at the 1963 March on Washington

PRATHIA Hall –  an important activist leader of SNCC

ROSA Parks – considered “the mother of the modern civil rights movement” whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white passenger, and consequent arrest, were instrumental in inciting a social revolution

RUBY Dee – with husband Ossie Davis, formed the Association of Artists for Freedom, urging donations to civil rights causes, and was involved in several demonstrations

SEPTIMA Poinsette Clark – SCLC’s director of education

UNITA Blackwell –  a project director for SNCC, organizer of voter registration drives across Alabama, and one of the first female black mayors

VIOLA Liuzzo –  martyred civil rights leader who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan

VIVIAN Malone—one of two black students to desegregate the University of Alabama

AARON Henry – respected Mississippi  activist, joined the Freedom Riders in 1961, led a large-scale voter registration drive

ADAM Clayton Powell , Jr –outspoken Congressman aggressively pursued anti-discrimination legislation

AMZIE Moore – worked with Medgar Evers to build the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, his home used as a “safe house” for Dr. King, Jesse Jackson and others,

ANDREW Young –a trusted aide to Dr. King, eventually becoming executive director of the SCLC, was with Dr. King when he was assassinated

BAYARD Rustin –  organizer of the Great March on Washington in 1963, a vital force in the civil rights movement from the 1940s on

CLAUDE Black – Baptist minister who organized and led marches throughout Texas

CLYDE Kennard –civil rights activist unjustly imprisoned In Mississippi

EMMETT Till – 14-year-old Chicago boy whose brutal murder mobilized the civil rights movement

HARRY Belafonte –popular singer was an early supporter of the movement and a confidant of Dr. King

HOSEA Williams – one of Dr. King’s most trusted lieutenants, protested racial discrimination in some of the most violent confrontations of the civil rights movement

JESSE Jackson –  civil rights activist, founder of the Rainbow Coalition, Presidential candidate

JULIAN (born Horace) Bond  – helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), served in the Georgia Legislature, chairman of the NAACP.

LYNDON Johnson  –  insured the passage of President Kennedy’s Civil Rights Bill and the 1964 Voting Rights Act, giving African-Americans more political and economic opportunities

MEDGAR Evers – slain field secretary of the NAACP, and one of the its first martyrs

MYLES Horton –called “The Father of the Civil Rights Movement,” taught and influenced many of the era’s leaders, including Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy

OSSIE Davis – socially conscious actor who delivered the eulogies for both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

RALPH Abernathy –  closest friend and assistant of Dr. King, followed him as president of the SCLC.

W. SLOANE Coffin  — Yale chaplain who became one of the “Freedom Riders” and was arrested several times for direct actions against segregation laws.

WHITNEY Young – Executive Director of the National Urban League,  influenced the policies of Lyndon Johnson

WYATT Tee Walker—Dr King’s Chief of Staff, one of the founders or CORE

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