The Mother of the Green Book Ignored by History

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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When the Cult of Celebrity Devours Meaningful History

Katharine Houghton Hepburn helped American women secure the vote and reproductive freedom. Her daughter was a four-time Oscar winner. Chances are, you know about the actress, but not the activist.

Marauchie Van Orden: Soldier of the American Revolution

Women played significant and important roles in the American Revolution. Many broke traditional gender roles and suffered as much as the men they served beside. Marauchie Van Orden’s bravery at the Battles of Saratoga in 1777 earned her the rank of soldier and the respect of George Washington.

Forget About Jack, You Don’t Know Matilda (but you should)

Matilda Joslyn Gage, who wrote about how cumulative advantage (a principle not named until a century later) erased women and their achievements from history, was herself erased from history because of cumulative advantage. The reason why You Don’t Know Matilda involves the Bible and science.

On International Women’s Day, Women in History Who Pressed for Progress

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.

Define Her as Scandalous to Obscure Her Substance

What the treatment of two of history’s original “nasty women,” Mary Hays and Mary Darby Robinson, can tell us about how society has long consigned outspoken women to infamy or obliteration.

“Princess Qajar” and the Problem with Junk History Memes

Junk history is embodied perfectly in a recent viral meme that portrays a nineteenth-century Persian princess with facial hair alongside the claim that 13 men killed themselves over their unrequited love for her. While it fails miserably at historical accuracy, the meme succeeds at demonstrating how easily viral clickbait obscures and overshadows rich and meaningful stories from the past.

Countess Emilia Plater and the Perpetual Anomaly of the Woman Warrior

Joan of Arc, Countess Emilia Plater, Wonder Woman: Singular women placed on a pedestal, carefully arranged and served on a silver platter of inimitable exceptionalism, meant to be admired for their sacrifice, but not duplicated. These are the flawed foundations of the stories of “heroic” women that have helped insure that the concept of the women warrior remains an anomaly more akin to a fictional superhero than an accepted reality.