While the Green Book has become something of a buzzword lately thanks to Hollywood, the “mother” of the essential guide for African Americans navigating Jim Crow America has been overlooked and all but lost to history.

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From a former slave to two Nobel laureates, a selection of women writers in modern history and their often-overlooked narratives of Christmas.

As the World Economic Forum suggests gender parity is 200 years away, a look at how researching and writing about women from the past 600 years give me purpose and motivation, and constantly remind me that another 200 years is far too long.

While the stories of history’s first female doctors of philosophy are inspiring, they also highlight the galling realities of women’s centuries-long struggle to obtain equal educational opportunities and professional and intellectual respect. Seen as a whole, they have the power to light a fire beneath armchair inspiration and provoke similarly bold and progressive action.