Civil Rights Activists

School segregation protest march. Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society
School segregation protest march. Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society. Image ID: 98959

A civil rights activist is someone who is or has been actively involved in the struggle to attain the fair distribution of and access to the rights that all human beings deserve, regardless of race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, or gender. Prominent civil rights activists in U. S. history include Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, and John Lewis. Milwaukee civil rights movements also boast many notable activists who gained national attention, including Vel Phillips, Lloyd Barbee, and Father James Groppi. While public memory often focuses attention on these well-known leaders, civil rights movements gain their strength through the participation of activists who have not enjoyed the same level of recognition. Civil rights struggles in Milwaukee benefited from countless activists who provided key support but who are less well known including Marilyn Morheuser, Juanita Adams, Arlene Johnson, Vada Harris, members of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Youth Council, the Commandos, and members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) including John Givens and Cecil Brown. EM