Produced in 1922, Gloria Richardson grew up in Cambridge, Maryland. She espoused the importance of economic justice and strategies beyond nonviolent protests. When she was six years of age, her family moved to Cambridge, Maryland. As a teen, she attended Howard University, where she studied sociology and participated in several demonstrations for civil rights. After graduating, she worked for the government during the Second World War. She subsequently returned to Cambridge and wed, becoming Gloria Richardson. After Richardson’s daughter, Donna, became involved using the SNCC, Richardson joined in forming the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee.
With Richardson in the helm, the Cambridge Movement started to urge for economic rights in addition to desegregation. Richardson herself had not been able to locate work using her degree. Her family was well off, but she also recognized the necessity to increase the economical situation for African Americans in Cambridge, who had an unemployment rate approaching 50 percent, several times greater in relation to the rate for the white people. In 1964, Richardson said, “Self defense could possibly be a hindrance to additional violence. Hitherto, the government has moved into battle scenarios only when issues approach the amount of insurrection.”
In the spring of 1963, 80 protesters, including Richardson, were detained over seven weeks. In June 1963, a tense feeling took hold during protests. Riots subsequently broke out, violence that both sides led to (though Richardson spoke out in support of nonviolence in the time). Maryland’s governor shortly declared martial law, bringing in the National Guard. In August 1963, Richardson went to the March on Washington, where she was one of six “Negro Girls Fighters for Freedom” to the program.
The section of the Treaty of Cambridge that dealt with discrimination in public accommodations was repealed when set into a vote in the autumn of 1963. Richardson was criticized for not encouraging African Americans to turn out in the surveys (unlike in the Deep South, black citizens in Cambridge were allowed to vote). Richardson countered that African Americans shouldn’t need to vote to acquire rights which were already expected to them.
In May 1964, Richardson headed a demonstration when Alabama’s segregationist governor, George Wallace, seen Cambridge. It was just in July 1964 the same month that the Civil Rights Act became law that the National Guard forever pulled away from the city. Richardson stepped down from the CNAC in the summer of 1964. With her husband and younger daughter, Tamara, she relocated to Nyc. Her following employment included working for the National Council for Negro Women as well as the New York City Department for the Aging.