Gloria Richardson, “an influential yet largely unsung civil rights pioneer,” has died at age 99 in New York City, reports The Associated Press.
By organizing the the Cambridge Movement on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1962, Richardson became the first woman to lead a prolonged grassroots civil rights movement outside of the Deep South. The movement involved sit-in protests to desegregate restaurants and public venues.
“Everything that the Black Lives Matter movement is working at right now is a continuation of what the Cambridge Movement was doing,” Joseph R. Fitzgerald, who wrote a 2018 biography on Richardson, told The Associated Press.
Richardson remains known as one of the leading female civil rights activists within the Black community. Earning a bachelor’s in sociology from Howard University in 1942, she advocated for jobs, health care access and sufficient housing.