Famous American Civil Rights Activists

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 1 
Malcolm X
(Major Figure of American Civil Rights Movement)
Malcolm X
24
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 21, 1965

An African-American leader of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X was a vocal spokesman of the Nation of Islam and called upon the blacks to protect themselves from the white, even if it meant adopting violence. His radical views and preaching later evolved and he accepted the possibility of peaceful resolution of racial issues in America.

 2 
Rosa Parks
(American Activist in the Civil Rights Movement Best Known for Her Pivotal Role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott)
Rosa Parks
26
Birthdate: February 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Died: October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks, “the first lady of civil rights,” was a pioneer in the American revolution against color segregation and racism. Her refusal to leave her bus seat to a white passenger gave rise to the iconic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which also led her to work with Martin Luther King Jr.

 3 
Fred Hampton
(American Activist and Deputy Chairman of the National Black Panther Party)
Fred Hampton
18
Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 4, 1969

Fred Hampton was considered an activist and a revolutionary socialist working for social change. He was the deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party. He founded the Rainbow Coalition, aiming to help the Chicago street gangs to end infighting. The FBI considered him as a major threat and he was shot and killed in December 1969 during a raid.

 4 
Johnnie Cochran
(American Lawyer and Civil Activist Best Known for Defending and Acquitting 'O. J. Simpson')
Johnnie Cochran
10
Birthdate: October 2, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: March 29, 2005
Johnnie Cochran was an American civil activist and lawyer. Cochran played an important role in the acquittal of former football player O. J. Simpson in connection with the murder of the latter's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. Cochran had also represented other celebrities like Michael Jackson, Sean Combs, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Riddick Bowe, and Jim Brown to name a few.
 5 
Cesar Chavez
(American Labour Leader, Civil Rights Activist and Co-Founder of the ‘National Farm Workers Association’)
Cesar Chavez
14
Birthdate: March 31, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Yuma, Arizona, United States
Died: April 23, 1993
Cesar Chavez became a Latin American civil rights icon owing to his efforts to secure rights for farmworkers. He co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers union. He was inspired by Gandhian non-violent protests and organized the Delano grape strike, among other protests.
 6 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)
Angela Davis
16
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 7 
Ruby Bridges
(Philanthropist)
Ruby Bridges
8
Birthdate: September 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tylertown
American civil rights activist Ruby Bridges became the first African-American child to attend an all-white educational institute when she joined the Louisiana-based William Frantz Elementary School in November 1960. She was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With and the TV movie Ruby Bridges.
 8 
Walter White
(American Civil Rights Activist)
Walter White
7
Birthdate: July 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: March 21, 1955
 9 
Coretta Scott King
(Civil-Rights Activist and the Wife of Martin Luther King Jr)
Coretta Scott King
13
Birthdate: April 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heiberger, Alabama, United States
Died: January 30, 2006

The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.

 10 
Medgar Evers
(American Civil Rights Activist Who Was Assassinated by a White Supremacist)
Medgar Evers
5
Birthdate: July 2, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Decatur, Mississippi, United States
Died: June 12, 1963
American civil rights activist Medgar Evers was the NAACP field secretary of Mississippi state. He has also served the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked toward securing voting rights for all and to end racial segregation. He was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith in 1963. 
 11 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
5
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.
 12 
Stokely Carmichael
(Key Leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States)
Stokely Carmichael
3
Birthdate: January 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: November 15, 1998

Stokely Carmichael was a significant part of the American civil rights movement and the worldwide Pan-African movement. He was associated with the Black Panther Party and the All-African People's Revolutionary Party. The Black Power movement leader later adopted the name Kwame Ture and traveled extensively through Africa.

 13 
Betty Shabazz
(Educator and Activist Best Known as the Wife of African-American Activist Malcolm X)
Betty Shabazz
9
Birthdate: May 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
Died: June 23, 1997

Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.

 14 
Claudette Colvin
(Pioneer of the 1950s Civil Rights Movement)
Claudette Colvin
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

Claudette Colvin is an American retired nurse aide and pioneer of the civil rights movement during the 1950s. She was arrested at age 15, when she refused to give up her seat in a crowded bus to a white woman. This occurred several months before the more renowned Rosa Parks incident, which helped spark the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955.

 15 
Yolanda King
(Civil Rights Activist and Daughter of Civil Rights Leader 'Martin Luther King Jr.')
Yolanda King
5
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: May 15, 2007

African American activist, Yolanda King, was the first-born child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Exposed to social justice activism at a young age, she grew up to be an outspoken supporter of civil rights and LGBTQA+ rights. She was also known for her artistic endeavors. She died of heart disease at 51. 

 16 
Viola Desmond
(Businesswoman)
Viola Desmond
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died: February 7, 1965

Though born bi-racial, Viola Desmond became a Black icon for her business acumen. After not being allowed to train as a beautician in Halifax, she moved to Montreal. Her beauty products, salon, and training institute, all catering specifically to Black women, filled a major void in the beauty industry.

 17 
Mamie Till
(American Civil Rights Activist, Who Lost Her Son 'Emmett Till' to a Racist Attack)
Mamie Till
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Webb, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 6, 2003

Following the violent lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till by a group of white men, his mother Mamie Till-Mobley made a marked contribution to the fight against racism. She became a prominent civil rights activist and established the Emmett Till Players, a group that lectured on hope and unity.

 18 
Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
(Politician & Civil Rights Activist)
Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 4, 1972
 19 
Benjamin Banneker
(Compiler of Almanacs)
Benjamin Banneker
5
Birthdate: November 9, 1731
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baltimore County
Died: October 9, 1806

Benjamin Banneker was born to a free African-American mother and a former slave father, and was largely self-educated. While he showed immense talent in both mathematics and astronomy, having predicted a solar eclipse with precision, he also wrote essays on civil rights and rallied against slavery.

 20 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(Critic of Islam and Advocate of Women Rights)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
3
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of an organization for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation. She actively opposes forced marriage, honor violence, and child marriage. A former Muslim, she now identifies as an atheist and is a vocal critic of Islam. She is a recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize.

 21 
Al Sharpton
(Civil Rights Activist & The Founder of the National Action Network)
Al Sharpton
10
Birthdate: October 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 22 
James Meredith
(Civil Rights Activist and the First African American Student Admitted to the 'University of Mississippi')
James Meredith
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States

James Meredith created history by becoming the first Black student at the University of Mississippi. A civil rights activist and an author, he had also been part of the U.S. Air Force. He was shot at while on his March Against Fear from Memphis to Jackson, but survived.

 23 
Fannie Lou Hamer
(American Community Organizer and Women's Rights Activist)
Fannie Lou Hamer
5
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 14, 1977

Fannie Lou Hamer was an American community organizer and women's rights activist. She also played an important role in the civil rights movement. Hamer is credited with co-founding the Freedom Democratic Party as well as the National Women's Political Caucus. In 1993, Fannie Lou Hamer was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 24 
Mary McLeod Bethune
(American Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the 'National Council of Negro Women')
Mary McLeod Bethune
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American civil rights activist, educator, womanist, humanitarian, and philanthropist. She is credited with founding the National Council of Negro Women. Bethune also played a key role in the creation of the Black Cabinet while serving as an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt. In 1973, Bethune was made an indutee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 25 
Marsha P. Johnson
(Civil Rights Activist)
Marsha P. Johnson
17
Birthdate: August 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Died: July 6, 1992
 26 
Alicia Garza
(Activist)
Alicia Garza
5
Birthdate: January 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
 27 
Barbara Jordan
7
Birthdate: February 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston
Died: January 17, 1996
 28 
David Dellinger
(American Pacifist and an Activist for Nonviolent Social Change)
David Dellinger
5
Birthdate: August 22, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wakefield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 25, 2004

David Dellinger was a pacifist and an activist who campaigned for nonviolent social change. Born into a wealthy family, he studied at Yale University and Oxford University. However, he ditched his privileged life and chose to live with poverty-stricken workers during the Great Depression. He was a conscientious objector during World War II and was imprisoned for his activities. 

 29 
Dolores Huerta
(Trade unionist)
Dolores Huerta
5
Birthdate: April 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dawson
 30 
Tarana Burke
(Activist)
Tarana Burke
5
Birthdate: September 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
 31 
A. Philip Randolph
(Leader of the African-American civil-rights movement,)
A. Philip Randolph
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Crescent City
Died: May 16, 1979
 32 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(American Women's Rights Activist and Key Figure Behind 'Seneca Falls Convention')
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
7
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

American women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton first came to know about laws that discriminated against women while studying law books in the office of her father, who was a prominent judge. She later became the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and co-wrote books such as The Woman's Bible.

 33 
Vernon Jordan
(Lawyer)
Vernon Jordan
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 34 
Rachel Corrie
(American Activist and Diarist)
Rachel Corrie
5
Birthdate: April 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Olympia, Washington, United States
Died: March 16, 2003

Crushed to death in Gaza by an Israeli armored bulldozer, peace activist Rachel Corrie was also a member of pro-Palestine International Solidarity Movement. Born and raised in USA, she had gone there as part of her college assignment and met her death while trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian houses by Israeli forces, causing international furore.

 35 
Sylvia Rivera
(Activist)
Sylvia Rivera
7
Birthdate: July 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2002
 36 
Alveda King
(Politician)
Alveda King
9
Birthdate: January 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia, U.S.
 37 
James Weldon Johnson
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1871
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Died: June 26, 1938
 38 
Viola Liuzzo
(Civil Rights Activist)
Viola Liuzzo
7
Birthdate: April 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: California, Pennsylvania
Died: March 25, 1965
 39 
Max Roach
(Musician)
Max Roach
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pasquotank County, North Carolina, U.S.
Died: August 16, 2007
 40 
Hosea Williams
(Civil Rights Leader)
Hosea Williams
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Attapulgus
Died: November 16, 2000
 41 
Ella Baker
(American activist)
Ella Baker
4
Birthdate: December 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 13, 1986
 42 
William Kunstler
(Lawyer)
William Kunstler
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 4, 1995
 43 
James Chaney
(American Civil Rights Activist)
James Chaney
5
Birthdate: May 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States
Died: June 21, 1964
 44 
Isra Hirsi
(American Environmental Activist)
Isra Hirsi
8
Birthdate: February 22, 2003
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Isra Hirsi is an American environmental activist best known for co-founding the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, where she also serves as co-executive director. A self-described communist, Isra Hirsi was named in Fortune magazine's 40 Under 40 list in 2020.

 45 
James Farmer
(Civil Rights Activist)
James Farmer
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marshall, Texas, United States
Died: July 9, 1999
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 46 
Michael Schwerner
(Civil Rights Activist)
Michael Schwerner
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 21, 1964
 47 
Bayard Rustin
(Activist)
Bayard Rustin
4
Birthdate: March 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: August 24, 1987
 48 
Homer Plessy
(Activist)
Homer Plessy
4
Birthdate: March 17, 1862
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: March 1, 1925
 49 
Jimmie Lee Jackson
(African American Civil Rights Activist)
Jimmie Lee Jackson
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marion, Alabama, United States
Died: February 26, 1965
 50 
Billy Eckstine
(Musician)
Billy Eckstine
2
Birthdate: July 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 8, 1993