I had the rare fortune last night to listen to the experiences of a Civil Rights Footsoldier. A woman who picketed against discrimination, stood bravely (and scared) against the KKK, and did what she felt was right in order to be a catalyst for change in the world. She was only 17, a freshman at Spelman College in Atlanta, yet she had the courage to stand firm against segregation and discrimination to try and show the world that it was fucked up.
We read about these stories in history books and see them as small news clips from time to time but there really is nothing quite like hearing it from an actual warrior woman. And that's what these young girls who marched in 1960 were. Warriors.
It's about time that their voices were heard, that their stories are shared. So often in history, women have been the silent arbiters of change; working fiercely, but unseen, in the background. The only problem with that is it can create a social/gender misconception that females have little power or impact, which in turn can shape the self-identities of young women.
The most important catalyst for change is believing that we can make some kind of difference. Even if only a small one. Even if only in our beliefs about our selves and our place in the world. From that ripples out the life altering changes.