Standing Up for Change: African American Women and the Civil Rights Movement "As far back as the 19th century, African American women fought for civil rights. They resisted slavery. They spoke out against racism. They established women’s clubs to improve conditions for African Americans. They worked in politics and journalism, organized black labor, and supported education. In the 20th century, they formed the backbone of the modern Civil Rights Movement. African American women were the critical mass, the grassroots leaders challenging America to embrace justice and equality for all." I wonder who these women would choose to vote for in the 2016 presidential election . . .