Friday, March 14, 2008

Women's History Month

I know I'm late but if I actually posted on everything that I'm involved with, support and believe in, I'd have to quit school and stop working and put toothpicks in my eyelids because I'd never have time otherwise.

In any event, Women's History Month runs throughout March and I wanted to throw up a few of my own role models and women I'm inspired by.

Maya Angelou (1928-) (One of those people you can just sit and listen to endlessly, no matter what she is saying! Her writing is the only work I've ever been able to describe as lyrical and understand what that means.)

Angelou is a novelist, poet, professional stage and screen writer, dancer, editor, lecturer, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Most notable among her publications are autobiographical novels starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1970, which helped establish the memoir as a popular genre. In 1993, Angelou recited an original poem at President Clinton’s inauguration, confirming her status as "a people’s poet."

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915) ( I love, love, LOVE this woman!)
Author, Publisher, Suffrage Leader, all-round instigator!

In an era when women were, in the words of Susan B. Anthony, "political slaves," Duniway rose from quite ordinary beginnings as an Illinois farm girl to become a nationally famed champion of women's suffrage, as well as a significant author and publisher. Duniway was a true pioneer or "path breaker," known for her long and tireless efforts for women's suffrage and women's rights and as one of relatively few female newspaper editors and publishers of her time.

Marian Wright Edelman (1939-)
Children Rights Advocate, Civil Rights Activist

From her earliest years, Edelman was encouraged to give hope and aid to others. As a lawyer, civil rights activist, and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, she has provided a strong authoritative voice for those who have been denied the power to speak for themselves. For almost 40 years, she has advocated for quality health care, immunizations, nutritious food, and educational opportunities, providing hope and possibility to countless numbers.

Katharine Graham (1917-2001) (amazing how we never hear of her part in things)

Graham was the first woman president of a Fortune 500 company when she became president and then publisher of the Washington Post from 1963 to 1979. In 1971, she resisted tremendous pressure and threats when she printed the Pentagon Papers. In 1972, she supported the aggressive investigation of the Watergate burglary. The Post received a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1973. Her autobiography Personal History won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998.

Barbara Jordan
(1936 - 1996)
Politician (that category SO does not do her justice-Barbara gets extra space because, well, she is Barbara)

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas in 1972, Barbara Jordan became the first African-American congresswoman to be elected, and re-elected, from the deep South. Before her election to Congress, she was a Texas State Senator, the first African-American woman to serve there.

Jordan captured the attention of the nation during the 1974 Nixon impeachment hearings. As a member of the House Judiciary Hearings she served on the committee charged with hearing and evaluating the evidence bearing on the possible impeachment of then-President Nixon. It was on this committee that her incisive questioning and her impassioned defense of the Constitution made her a respected national figure.

In l976, Barbara Jordan became the first woman and first African-American to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. In 1978 she announced that she would not seek re-election and returned to Texas as a full professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. She remained there, and became a counselor to Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Dorothy Day (1897-1980)
Social Activist, Journalist,

Dorothy Day combined her political passion for justice and equality with her religious commitment for serving the destitute, co-founding the Catholic Worker's Movement. She wanted her words to match precisely with her deeds. She took a vow of poverty and lived a life of service to the poor in the hospitality houses ( an extension of the work that Jane Addams did in Hull House) that she helped to establish in cities across the U.S. She worked tirelessly and was arrested often in the struggles for womens rights, birth control, workers rights, and against war.

Patsy Mink (1927-2002)
Congresswoman, Women's Rights Activist

Mink, the first Asian American elected to Congress, served 12 terms in Congress, beginning in 1965. She helped draft and win passage of Title IX in 1972. She was a founding member of the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971. She authored legislation for the Women's Educational Equity Act in 1973. Mink worked for women's rights, health, labor, education and environmental issues; she opposed capital punishment and the Vietnam War.

Alice Paul (1885–1977) (Of course!)
Suffragist, Founder of the Congressional Union
Arrested six times and jailed three times for suffrage demonstrations in England, Paul returned to the United States with radical ideas for the American movement. In 1913, she staged a huge parade in Washington, D.C., and organized pickets at the White House throughout 1917. Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and for over fifty years, she led the movement to have the ERA become part of the Constitution.

Wilma Vaught (1930-)
Retired Brigadier General

One of the most-decorated military women in U.S. history and the Air Force’s first female general, after retiring in 1980, General Vaught was the driving force behind the building and dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, DC. She served on the Committee on Women in the Armed Forces in NATO, 1984-85. Vaught was also a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862–1931)

Wells-Barnett began a daring editorial campaign against lynching in her Memphis Free Speech newspaper in 1892. After her office was sacked, she continued her fearless crusade in New York City as a journalist and traveling lecturer, organizing anti-lynching societies in many cities. Moving to Chicago, Wells-Barnett published A Red Record in 1895, a detailed book about lynching. Throughout her life, she remained militant in her demand for justice for black Americans.

Jane Addams (1860-1935) (One of those women with a list that could go on for days)
Social Activist, founder of Hull House, charter member of the NAACP, Nobel Peace Prize winner and labor union organizer.

Jane Addams is remembered primarily as a founder of the Settlement House Movement. She and her friend Ellen Starr founded Hull House in the slums of Chicago in 1889. She is also remembered as the first American Woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jane is portrayed as the selfless giver of ministrations to the poor, but few realize that she was a mover and shaker in the areas of labor reform (laws that governed working conditions for children and women), and was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Now that my term is over, hopefully I can add to this list in the next few days. it's a drop in the bucket.

And here is the rest of it.

1 comment:

Trouble said...

Nice list, the two that stand out most to me is, Maya Angelou, and Barbara Jordan. I have heard more about those two, not that they are more important than the rest. They have all made their mark on History, amazing women. And yes there are many more who should be recognized, can't wait to see who is added next.