The main argument of the article
The article under consideration deals with the role played by African American women in the struggle for racial equality. Sanders (2007) claims that although African American women made a great contribution in the movement, historians still do not mention great female fighters for racial equality.
Sanders (2007) also argues that sometimes the impact of these women’s activities was even larger than that of famous male fighters, like Martin Luther King, for instance. The researcher portrays several bright examples of such female fighters which makes her claims valid.
The evidence provided in the article
Thus, Sanders (2007) depicts the major activities and achievements of the most influential representatives of female fighters for equality. These activities and therefore the achievements were revealed on different levels, however, all of them contributed to the development of movement and helped to raise “one-third of America’s black population to middle class status” (Sanders, 2007, p.
27). To support her statements Sanders (2007) reveals the activity of one of the most famous African American female fighters Ida B. Wells.
Wells was an activist who fought for equality rights. Her campaign against lynching was very effective and even led to the diminishing of that inhuman tradition. Wells also mobilized other women to participate in the movement, she took an active part in establishing Chicago branch of “the first black trade union” (Sanders, 2007, p.
23). Whereas Wells was rather a local activist, Sanders (2007) depicts another remarkable African American female fighter who played an important role in the movement on the level of the entire country. Thus, Mary McLeod Bethune was one of those who tried to change the situation on the national level.
She was president of National Association of Colored Women, and later established National Counsil of Negro Women. She tried to obtain the support in Congress which, she believed, can change the situation dramatically. Sanders (2007) points out that Bethune became the head of New Deal’s National Youth Administration. This position enabled her to make numerous changes which contributed greatly the movement for equality.
Sanders (2007) provides more examples, including Condoleezza Rice, stating that women made a considerable impact in the struggle, which is still not totally completed.
The major strengthen of the article
To my mind, the article’s major strengthen is its precision. Sanders precisely states her main objective and then proves it with valid arguments. It is easy to follow the article due to this precision. I would also like to point out that Sanders uses very good examples to prove that women not only took an active part in the struggle but reached definite results.
The article portrays the major achievements of African American female fighters which are significant. Thus, Sanders does not contemplate on the unfairness of historian’s attention to different sexes, but provides certain facts to reveal it.
The main shortcoming of the article
Of course, apart from great precision and comprehensiveness of the article there is a downside.
To my mind, in the very end of the article Sanders is too imprecise. She notes that for the “two-thirds of black women” the equality remains “elusive” (Sanders, 2007, p.27). However, it is not clear what is meant: social status or personal life and rights. To my mind, this part is quite uncertain and should have been more precise, since the ending is one of the strongest parts of an article which should not contain such obscurities.
In summary, the article under consideration deals with the importance of African American women in equality struggle and the lack of historians’ attention to it. Sanders is very precise which makes the article valid. However, the weak place of the article is its uncertain ending.
(2007). African American Women and the Struggle for Racial Equality: Viv Sanders Corrects the Male Bias in the Study of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. History Review, (58), 22-27.