Yesterday’s picture of Gloria Richardson is from a protest in July, 1963 in Cambridge, Maryland. Here’s more about her:
Gloria St. Clair Hayes Richardson was born in 1922 in Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in Cambridge, Maryland during the Great Depression. Richardson graduated from Howard University in 1942 with a degree in sociology.
In the early 1960’s, Richardson helped organized the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC), an affiliate of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The CNAC worked for desegregation primarily for desegregation in the community.
Richardson helped make Cambridge a hotbed of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s. CNAC staged marches, boycotts, and sit-ins, often leading to clashes with police. The demonstrators remain committed to nonviolence but sometimes carry guns to defend themselves. After shots are exchanged one night in June 1963, the governor of Maryland sent the National Guard to Cambridge. The Guard remained for more than a year—the longest martial law occupation in the U.S. since the end of Reconstruction.
In July 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy attempted to negotiate a “Treaty” with Richardson and other leaders that called on the city council to desegregate schools and public accommodations. White segregationists react by voting to put a desegregation measure to a vote. Angered, Richardson and the CNAC boycotted the vote from the belief that civil rights should not be put to popular vote. The referendum passed after low Black turnout, allowing segregation to continue for a short while (until the 1964 Civil Rights Act is passed).
After a few years, Richardson resigned from CNAC and moved to New York City, where she continued to be involved in civil rights organizations. Since the 1970s, Richardson has worked for the City of New York.
1964 Interview with Richardson: http://whospeaks.library.vanderbilt.edu/interview/gloria-st-clair-hayes-richardson