Trace the growth of freedom for African-Americans from the time of slavery through today.
One possibility would be to write about the treatment of slaves and the treatment of and rights granted to free blacks before the Civil War. You could mention the recognition of slavery in the Constitution.
You might write about the Emancipation Proclamation, the three (3) Civil War Amendments and the development of Jim Crow laws and the rise of the KKK.
Maybe mentioning Plessy vs. Ferguson.
Talk about civil rights in the 1920’s and 30’s and the fight to desegregate the military during and after World War II
Brown vs Board of Education
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, Sit-ins, Selma, Watts and other riots, the Black Power Movement) (obviously, you will not have time to do more than one or two of these in such a short essay)
The growth of the Civil Rights movement under Dr. King
And maybe the most obvious way to end would be 2008 (Obama’s election…)?
Talk about rights women had during colonial days
Maybe Abigail Adams’ plea to John to not forget the ladies in the Constitution
Seneca Falls Convention
Struggle for women’s rights before the Civil War
Struggle for those rights leading up to women getting the right to vite
Efforts to pass the E.R.A.
Struggle for equal pay for equal work