Brown vs. Board of Education—the Supreme Court decision that ruled school segregation unconstitutional—passed in 1954, but turning legislature into action took several years to transpire. It wasn't until 1957 that nine black students, already enrolled at Little Rock Central High, began their first day of school, only to be met with an angry crowd and the Arkansas National Guard. The governor of Alabama, Orval Faubus (names don't get much more evil-sounding than that) prevented the students from entering the school. It took a presidential intervention on the part of Eisenhower to send the National Guard to escort the students. Behind the scenes though, was Daisy Bates.
Today's Martin Luther King Jr. Adventures in Feministory focuses on Bayard Rustin, one of the most important individuals in the Civil Rights Movement, and a life-long activist for human dignity, but whose contributions are are overlooked (then and now) because he was gay.
The Welfare Rights movement of the sixties and seventies rarely receives the amount of historical attention it deserves, and as a grassroots movement that addressed class, race, gender, and consumption issues all at once. Although made up of thousands of women around the country, Johnnie Tillmon was one of the main activists, who rose from a reluctant welfare mother to Executive Director for the National Welfare Rights Organization.