As the nation commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and remembers the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Women’s Roundtable, a program of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, kicked off the celebration by honoring women leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
“The movement that my father led would not have happened without women,” said Bernice King, CEO of the King Center in Atlanta and the youngest child of Dr. King.
King spoke before an intergenerational audience of civil and human rights advocates in Washington, D.C., who had convened to discuss the past, present and future of women’s equality. The group remembered the work of such icons as Dorothy Height, who led the National Council of Negro Women and was often the only woman at the table of the Big 6 which included: King of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Whitney Young of the Urban League, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, James Farmer of CORE and A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. But, as King so aptly noted, “it was women who mobilized and organized. It’s that energy and tenacity that’s been so essential to the struggle.”