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Geographies of mentorship: Black women and the Civil Rights Movement, a case study of Septima Clark and Ella Barker.

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This thesis is a social-history of Black women's leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Through case studies of Septima Clark and Ella Baker, I examine the influences of two women, the barriers and support they received during their work, and their leadership philosophies. These two women are examples of Black women who were marginalized in traditional leadership roles a This thesis is a social-history of Black women's leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Through case studies of Septima Clark and Ella Baker, I examine the influences of two women, the barriers and support they received during their work, and their leadership philosophies. These two women are examples of Black women who were marginalized in traditional leadership roles and responded to their situations by adopting more inclusive leadership styles that incorporated mentoring principles. Because of gender barriers in social movements---women were locked out of the more visible leadership roles in Black organizations, programs and activities of the Civil Rights Movement. Rather than become marginalized, women created alternative and transformative spaces where leaders that differed from more conventional models of leadership could flourish. Women filled leadership roles that responded to and incorporated an understanding of the intersections of race, class, and gender in their activism.


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This thesis is a social-history of Black women's leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Through case studies of Septima Clark and Ella Baker, I examine the influences of two women, the barriers and support they received during their work, and their leadership philosophies. These two women are examples of Black women who were marginalized in traditional leadership roles a This thesis is a social-history of Black women's leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Through case studies of Septima Clark and Ella Baker, I examine the influences of two women, the barriers and support they received during their work, and their leadership philosophies. These two women are examples of Black women who were marginalized in traditional leadership roles and responded to their situations by adopting more inclusive leadership styles that incorporated mentoring principles. Because of gender barriers in social movements---women were locked out of the more visible leadership roles in Black organizations, programs and activities of the Civil Rights Movement. Rather than become marginalized, women created alternative and transformative spaces where leaders that differed from more conventional models of leadership could flourish. Women filled leadership roles that responded to and incorporated an understanding of the intersections of race, class, and gender in their activism.

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