To many Americans, the focus on LGBTQ issues has come to the forefront of the news over the last few years, with greater visibility of struggles and much public discussion of issues that were rarely ever acknowledged by society. And while many are still working to fully understand the differences between “L/G,” “B,” “T,” and “Q,” a greater general awareness of gender and sexuality matters has recently begun entering the American consciousness. But, activism in this area has been alive and well for many years. As this CNN.com article outlines, LGBTQ rights organizations began forming as early as 1924.
During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans who made impactful contributions to American history. One of the most important developments of the twentieth century was the civil rights movement. Many Americans, both black and white, fought for equality in access to voting, education, housing, and public spaces for African Americans. Most of the best-known civil rights leaders of this period were male, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and John Lewis. However, many women also made significant contributions, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Pauli Murray, and Dorothy Height. Because of their efforts, black Americans, especially in the South, gained new legal rights and freedoms.