The Heroines

“The Unita Blackwells, the Fannie Lou Hamers, the Annie Devines, the Victoria Grays—There’s a whole list of them.  Without understanding them, you don’t understand anything about Mississippi’s movement, and why it was so strong.”

–Charlie Cobb; SNCC Student Leader

The Heroines of “Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders” and “Pieces From the Past” have inspired audiences and readers with their stories of their participation in the Civil Rights Movement.

Learn more about the women in the book and film.

They were seemingly ordinary women, black and white, single, married, widowed who fought for the right to vote and the right to a good education..

Some of the women were born to ‘stand up’ like Mae Bertha Carter, the youngest of 20 children, who at 2 years old would slam the door and stomp her feet to make her demands known to her family.

Others found courage along the way, sacrificing their safety, their jobs, and even the acceptance of their families, to do what they felt was right.



“It was women going door to door, speaking with their neighbors, meeting in voter-registration classes together, organizing through their churches that gave the vital momentum and energy to the movement that made it a mass movement”

–Andrew Young
Civil Rights Activist and UN Ambassador