- Jun 6, 2018
- Reaction score
Civil rights pioneer Gloria Richardson, known for her unrelenting activism, died on Thursday at age 99
"Gloria Richardson, a Black civil rights pioneer who led the Cambridge Movement, has died at age 99. The activist died in her sleep at her New York City home on Thursday, her granddaughter Tya Young told the Associated Press. A graduate of Howard University, Richardson is known for her unrelenting determination in the fight for racial equality -- after joining the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee, she organized sit-ins in efforts to desegregate schools and public facilities, as well as push for fair jobs, public housing, and equal education.
Mayor Calvin Mowbray asked Richardson to end demonstrations in exchange of a promise not to arrest Black protestors, but she declined to compromise. The National Guard was called into Cambridge on June 11, 1963. While the city was seeing unrest, Richardson met with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to negotiate what is now known as the "Treaty of Cambridge." -- which eventually led to the reversal some Jim Crow-era segregation policies. The Civil Rights Act — which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin — was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Joseph R. Fitzgerald, who wrote her biography added, "Everything that the Black Lives Matter movement is working at right now is a continuation of what the Cambridge Movement was doing."
I will always remember her for this iconic picture -- and the look she gave to the national guardsmen when they pointed rifles at her and she pushed it away --- it was fearless.......it was fearless because at this time; it would have been perfectly accepted by many if she and others were gunned down by that same national guard....Now we all like to look back at this "NOT SO DISTANT PAST" and pretend that the majority of the country were always on the right side.....they weren't....and it took people like her to get us on the right side....