In 1952, Ruby McCollum, the wealthiest African-American woman in Live Oak, murdered the town’s beloved doctor, a white man named Leroy Adams. She said it was the only way she knew to end six years of rape. The case would help show that a persistent form of bondage plagued the South for a century after the Civil War — “paramour rights,” the assumption that white men had a right to use African-American women for sex.
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820–1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century womens rights movement to introduce womens suffrage into the United States. On November 18, 1872, Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for voting illegally in the 1872 Presidential Election two weeks earlier which created a court case that paved the way for Women's suffrage in the US. She never married nor had children.
Rosa Parks- Civil Rights heroine Rosa Parks touched off the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott by refusing to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger. Parks was arrested for civil disobedience but not without becoming an influential symbol for racial equality. Her court case served as step towards ending segregation laws in the south.
American freedom fighter and orator, Sojourner Truth (pron.: /soʊˈdʒɜrnər ˈtruːθ/; c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.
Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal. But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent. The case changed history - and was captured on film by LIFE photographer Grey Villet.