Sonia Ann Johnson, née Harris, was born a fifth-generation Mormon in Malad, Idaho. She graduated from Utah State University, pursuing her M.A. and Ed.D. from Rutgers University after marrying, and through many moves and pregnancies. She taught English at American and foreign universities, working part-time as a teacher while accompanying her husband on overseas jobs. The family returned to the U.S. in 1976, buying a house in Virginia, one of the states that had not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. Johnson became such an ardent supporter of the ERA that she was excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1979. She exposed the role of the wealthy Mormon Church in sabotaging passage of the ERA. She went on a 37-day hunger strike in the Illinois statehouse in 1982 during the last days of the ERA countdown to symbolize how “women hunger for justice.”
Harlan Lebo is a cultural historian at the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He is the author of 100 Days: How Four Events in 1969 Shaped America. His previous books include Citizen Kane, Casablanca: Behind the Scenes, The Godfather Legacy, and Citizen Kane: A Filmmakers Journey. He resides in Los Angeles.
Alice Guy-Blaché was a French pioneer filmmaker, active from the late 19th century, and one of the very first to make a narrative fiction film. From 1896 to 1906, she was probably the only female filmmaker in the world. Women Filmmakers
Brookings Now by Fred Dews May 15, 2019
“Hope for bipartisan policy on the economy or any other topic depends on stopping the blame game, beginning to listen to each other, and rebuilding trust before working together to solve the problems that beset us,” Alice Rivlin wrote in 2018, encapsulating one of her consistent tenets. As the Brookings Institution community mourns the death of this extraordinary scholar and public servant, we look back at some highlights of her extraordinary career at Brookings. Learn more about the scope and impact of her life and career in this memorial piece.
By ACLU Women’s Rights Project
On the 50th anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday, one of the darkest stains in our nation’s civil rights history, President Obama spoke with hope and confidence about Americans who were “unencumbered by what is, because you’re ready to seize what ought to be.” Lenora Lapidus lived her life by this principle.
Offered by Andrea Davis
The Washington Post’s New Series
With Overlooked, our new collection of obituaries for people who never got them, The Times is recalling the lives of those who were passed over for generations, for whatever reasons. Some were famous, like the poet Sylvia Plath, while others were more obscure, like the first American woman to win an Olympic championship (without ever knowing it).
Recy Taylor, whose bold testimony in 1944 helped lay the foundation for the civil rights movement, quietly passed away this morning (December 28) She would’ve been 98 on Sunday. She is survived by a number of loving & devoted family members. She inspired me & many to use our voices as weapons
Photo Credit: Danielle L. McGuire
Recy Taylor (December 31, 1919 – December 28, 2017) was a black woman from Abbeville in Henry County, Alabama, US. On September 3, 1944, she was kidnappedwhile leaving church and gang-raped by six white men. Even though the men admitted the rape to authorities, two grand juries subsequently declined to indict the men, meaning no charges were ever brought against her six assailants.
In 2011, the Alabama House of Representatives apologized on behalf of the state “for its failure to prosecute her attackers.” Taylor’s rape and the subsequent court cases were among the first instances of nationwide protest and activism among the African American community, and ended up providing an early organizational spark for the Civil Rights Movement. from Wikipedia
by Andrea S. Johnson in History News Network
This week Mattel proudly announced two new dolls in The Inspiring Women Series of Barbies. Civil rights activist Rosa Parks and astronaut Sally Ride join a line that has previously featured aviator Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. The description of Rosa Parks though is a bit lacking as it claims that she “led an ordinary life as a seamstress until an extraordinary moment on December 1, 1955.” She is described as having a “quiet strength” that “played a notable role in the civil rights movement…” Click here to continue
Thanks to the work of pioneering grassroots activists and the National Trust’s Rosenwald Schools Initiative, Rosenwald schools have begun to be identified, preserved and celebrated.
Anyone who has taken a United States history course in high school knows the story of Jane Addams and Chicago’s Hull House, the first Settlement House in America and arguably the genesis of social work in the country. More advanced textbooks may even have discussed Lillian Wald, founder of New York’s Henry Street Settlement House, who was instrumental in introducing the concept of “public health” – and the important epidemiological axiom that physical well being is inseparable from economic and living conditions.
What no one learned in high school, or later, was that Addams and Wald were women who loved other women and that these relationships – as well as the female friendship networks in which they were involved – were profoundly instrumental to their vision of social justice that changed America. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE
We remember those who have made a significant contribution to gender equality and women’s lives and well-being, and thus to human rights and well-being. With honor and respect for their work and effort, we will not forget.
(Please let us know additions you might have to this section – Click here for the National Women’s History Online Exhibits)
Women journalists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and reporters and human rights activists across the world have been in mourning since the death of Solange Lusiku Nsimire last month. Lusiku Nsimire, who died of a short illness at 46, was the first woman to run a written newspaper in the DRC’s eastern South Kivu Province and had won several international awards, including the International Women’s Media Foundation’s (IWMF) 2014 Courage in Journalism Award.
The following is a guest post by Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division.
African American women as well as men assumed civic responsibilities in the decades after the Civil War. William Henry Richards (1856-1941) was active in several organizations that promoted civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans at the end of the nineteenth century. (this info sent in by Lyte) Continue reading…
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