History Month

youtube

National Museum of American American History: Musical Crossroads

Prince was the prince of Minneapolis music. But before Prince’s hits in the 1980s, the unique blend of genres that was a signature sound had already become a staple in his hometown city…

Lil history lesson on Prince’s place in the American musical story.

also: happy women’s history month to every trans woman
you’re constantly erased from history and pushed out of women’s spaces but you belong there and you have always been important parts of history.
let’s not forget trans women this year.

10

Last year I did a few write-ups and drawings about some lady fighters from history who fought openly as their gender (there are plenty of disguised-as-a-man soldiers and plenty of trans soldiers, but those are outside the scope of this series).  This is by no means an exhaustive list; there were plenty of great figures that my schedule didn’t permit me to tackle (at least not yet).  But as Women’s History Month gets started tomorrow, I thought y’all might enjoy reading about some of history’s toughest broads.

10

day 27: For my amazing courageous sister!

For anyone out there feeling in crisis, please seek help. Crisis Text Line serves anyone in any type of crisis providing access to free 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust:text. Here’s how it works:

Text HOME to 741741 form anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

You’re not alone

Today is International Women’s Day.

Today also marks the show of solidarity for women’s rights by way of a strike: A Day Without A Woman. Women around the world are refusing to take part in both paid and unpaid labor in the name of justice for all gender-oppressed people of all ethnicities, religions, and sexualities. In doing so, they join the ranks of women who have led protests, strikes, and movements throughout history.

Let’s celebrate a few of those women:

Dorothy Height (March 24, 1912—April 20, 2010)

Originally posted by womenthrive

Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro Women, was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. She stood near Martin Luther King Jr. during his “I Have a Dream” speech, but did not publicly speak that day. In fact, no woman publicly spoke. “Even on the morning of the march there had been appeals to include a woman speaker,” wrote Height in her memoir. “They were happy to include women in the human family, but there was no question as to who headed the household!“ In 1971, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus with other notable feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945—July 6, 1992)

Originally posted by dannisue

Marsha P. Johnson spent her entire adult life fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people. She’s credited for being one of the first to fight back in the Stonewall Riots. She started the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Together they provided food, shelter, and care to young drag queens, trans women, and homeless children in need in the Lower East Side of NYC. She fought for what was right, and knew how to live life with exuberance and humor. When asked by a judge what what the “P” stood for, she replied “Pay It No Mind.”

Alice Paul (January 11, 1885—July 9, 1977)

Originally posted by taryndraws

Alice Paul was one of the leading forces behind the Nineteenth Amendment, which affirmed and enshrined a woman’s right to vote. She rallied 8,000 people to march in the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington—no small task in a world before the internet—with an estimated half million people watching the historic moment from the sidelines.

And some good activist blogs to follow:

  • Emily’s List (@emilys-list) slogan is “ignite change.” They aim to do so by backing pro-choice candidates for US office in key races across the country.
  • Women of Color in Solidarity (@wocinsolidarity) focuses on being a hub for the the WOC experience in the US. Original posts, incredibly informative reblogs…this place is wonderful.
Support women in STEM

Because they’ve advanced the success and growth of those fields for just as long as men, even when they weren’t afforded the opportunity, the recognition, or the grants. Onward:

Rosalind Franklin (July 25, 1920—April 16, 1958)

Originally posted by bhagatkapil

Rosalind Franklin was a chemist and, get this, X-ray crystallographer. As far as titles go, you can’t do much better than crystallographer. Her work in understanding the molecular structure of DNA laid the foundation for the discovery of the double helix. She also made significant contributions to understanding the structures of RNAs. And viruses. And coal. And graphite. Her work was not fully appreciated until after she passed away. Two teams of all-male scientists who used her work to discover great things later went on to win Nobel Prizes.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler (February 8, 1831—March 9, 1895)

Originally posted by pylonss

Rebecca Lee Crumpler spent most of her professional life being the first at things. She was the very first Black woman to become a physician in the United States. The first (and only) Black woman to graduate from New England Female Medical College. She authored Book of Medical Discourses, one of the very first medical books written by a Black person. Every obstacle she powered through was done in an effort to provide care for other people. Hero. 

Mary Anning (May 21, 1799—March 9, 1847)

Originally posted by rejectedprincesses

Mary Anning discovered the first full Ichthyosaur skeleton at 11,  the very first Plesiosaur at 22, and then opened up her own fossil store front a few years later. We repeat: She opened up her own fossil store. We could go on and on, but Rejected Princesses (@rejectedprincesses​) already did it best in this biographical comic. While you’re over there, check out their whole archive and the dozens and dozens of women’s life stories within.

Follow these too:

  • She Thought It: Crossing Bodies in Sciences and Arts (@shethoughtit​​) is a database dedicated to shedding light on women making strides in both science and the arts. A whole bunch of great things.
  • Lady Scientists of Tumblr (@scientific-women​​) promises everything you could ever want from a feminist science round-up blog: intersectionality and equal representation of all scientists who identify as female. Hell yeah.
  • Math Brain (@ihaveamathbrain​​) backs the novel idea that women are indeed capable of understanding math. Shocking. With the perfect amount of sarcasm, they tackle the idea some bozos have that women just don’t have the mind for mathematics.

10

“I have written a poem for a woman who rides a bus in New York City. She’s a maid, she has two shopping bags. When the bus stops abruptly, she laughs. If the bus stops slowly, she laughs. I thought, ‘Mmm, a-ha.’ Now, if you don’t know black features, you may think she’s laughing. But she wasn’t laughing. She was simply extending her lips and making a sound. I said, ‘Oh, I see.’ That’s that survival apparatus. Now, let me write about that to honor this woman who helps us to survive.”
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2016) dir. Rita Coburn & Bob Hercules