Come Too Far, To Settle For Less

Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist, “and award-winning author known for her acclaimed memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her numerous poetry and essay collections”
Synopsis
Born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. In 1971, Angelou published the Pulitzer Prize-nominated poetry collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die. She later wrote the poem “On the Pulse of Morning”—one of her most famous works—which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009. She died on May 28, 2014.

Malcolm X was a leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam, who “articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the 1950s and ’60s”
Synopsis
Born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X was a prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and ’60s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism “by any means necessary,” including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the group shortly before his assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.

Synopsis
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Through his activism and inspirational speeches he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. He was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African-American leaders in history.

Clashing Ideologies – Similar to Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had opposing views on leadership for Black America and achieving freedom from oppression.

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Rosa Parks a civil rights activist refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger, spurring the Montgomery boycott and other efforts to end segregation.
Synopsis
Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks received many accolades during her lifetime, including the NAACP’s highest award.

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W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement
No account of black history in America is complete without an examination of the rivalry between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, which in the late 19th to early 20th centuries changed the course of the quest for equality in American society, and in the process helped give birth to the modern Civil Rights Movement. Though Washington and Du Bois were both born in the same era, both highly accomplished scholars and both committed to the cause of civil rights for blacks in America, it was their differences in background and method (Clashing Ideologies) that would have the greatest impact on the future.

Educator Booker T. Washington was one of the foremost African-American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, founding the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, now known as Tuskegee University.
Synopsis
Born into slavery in Virginia in the mid-to-late 1850s, Booker T. Washington put himself through school and became a teacher after the Civil War. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama (now known as Tuskegee University), which grew immensely and focused on training African Americans in agricultural pursuits. A political adviser and writer, Washington clashed with intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois over the best avenues for racial uplift. President Theodore Roosevelt confided with Booker T. Washington on matter of Black America.

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W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism.
Synopsis
Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Du Bois wrote extensively and was the best known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1963.

 

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