What are the similarities/and or differences between the African American struggle for equality and women's struggle?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are many similarities between these two struggles.  Let us look at two of the more important ones.

First, both struggles took place over a very long period of time.  The women's rights movement in the United States dates back to at least the 1840s and is still continuing (though at somewhat lower intensity than at some other points) today.  The "formal" struggle for black rights began with the rise of abolitionism in the 1830s and has also continued to the present.  In both cases, there have been times of greater (like the 1960s and '70s) and lesser intensity of action.

Second, both struggles have involved a mix of strategies.  In both cases, legal action has been used to advance the cause.  However, both movements have also used things like direct action and protest as tactics.

One major difference between the two is that the movement for black rights had much more widespread approval among its constituency.  Of course there were disputes as to tactics and timing, but there was little or no sense within the black community that there was no need to push for more rights.  This is much more present among women as a whole in the US, with many (typically conservative) women pushing back against the idea of what others see as full equality for women.


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