Searching for Black Freedom in the South


  • Erin Lewis Harden University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Dr. Annette Teasdell Clark Atlanta University
  • Ayat Soluiman The Children’s School



The freedom struggle for Black Americans has cycled through American history. This reflection aims to recount lessons from the civil rights movement through a Black feminist lens from three scholars that grew up in South Carolina, home to years of racial tension and divide. To connect the Civil Rights Movement to the current Black Lives Matter movement, it is imperative to address the unsung heroes who made strides to dismantle the anti-Black narratives, laws, and policies that reinforce notions of racial inferiority. As such, Black women have been in the pits of the anti-Black struggle during both the civil rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement. Black women have the unique lived experience of being Black and women, when race and gender are often focused on separately. These intersections are extremely important in considering the behind-the-scenes roles of women during the civil rights movement compared to women's roles at the forefront of the current Black Lives Matter movement. This work applies Black feminist thought toward a historical discussion on movements of social change for Black people. Additional reflections on the current role of Black women and adult education on voter rights toward the 2020 election and reflections on the recent Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the first Black and South Asian woman to hold that title are included. 

Author Biography

Erin Lewis Harden, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Doctoral Student in Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education Strand