• The Hammonton Gazette

On civil rights


Since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated on January 18, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some of these champions of civil rights. (Courtesy Photo)

There is a special supplement inside this week’s Gazette called “Civil Rights Heroes.” It begins on page 23 and features some examples of people who fought for civil rights throughout the history of the United States. Since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated on January 18, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some of these champions of civil rights.


According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, civil rights are defined as “personal rights that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal laws enacted by Congress, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Civil rights include protection from unlawful discrimination.”


The United States Constitution continues to be a document that impacts all people living in the United States, and is a beacon for freedom both in this country and abroad.


The “Civil Rights Heroes” pullout in this week’s Gazette includes the following individuals’ biographies:


• Willa Bernice Brown: aviator, lobbyist, teacher and civil rights activist who was the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license in the U.S. and became the first Black woman to run for Congress.


• Abby Kelly Foster: a woman from the 1800s who called not only for the end of slavery but for full civil equality for Black Americans.


• Edgar Daniel Nixon: one of the organizers of the Montgomery, Ala. bus boycott.


• Elizabeth Freeman: the first enslaved woman to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts.


• Harriette Vyda Simms Moore: an educator and civil rights worker who, along with her husband, Harry T. Moore, were murdered in the first assassination to happen during the Civil Rights movement.


• Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn: a Catholic priest born to Irish immigrants in Newark, New Jersey who was ordained in 1912 and worked among Black Catholics in Brooklyn, N.Y.


• Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin: A Black woman, journalist, suffragist and editor of The Woman’s Era, the first national newspaper published for and by Black women.


We hope you find these profiles of “Civil Rights Heroes” in our special supplement this week interesting and inspiring as we continue to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights in America and the world.