What does it take to create a movement, and keep it going long enough to make real change? It takes more than marches or speeches. It takes a lot of unglamorous and unsung work. During the Civil Rights Movement, African American women did not stand on ceremony; they simply did the work that needed to be done. Yet despite their significant contributions at all levels of the movement, they remain mostly invisible to the larger public. Beyond Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, most Americans would be hard-pressed to name other leaders at the community, local, and national levels.
In Lighting the Fires of Freedom, Janet Dewart Bell introduces readers to nine women who contributed their grit, love, strength, strategy, and spirit to the Civil Rights Movement.
Leah Chase and her husband started one of the first integrated fine dining New Orleans restaurants, and her restaurant became a center of art and community.
As a college student, June Jackson Christmas fought for the rights of Japanese-Americans in wartime internment camps. As a psychiatrist, she campaigned to make mental health care more accessible to Black and low-income people. And she fought housing discrimination when hoity-toity New York apartments refused to rent to her and her husband.
Lighting the Fires of Freedom is an enduring testament to the vitality of women’s leadership during one of the most dramatic periods of American history. Leah Chase, June Jackson Christmas, and the other women who record their lives in this book will inspire you to think about how you, too, can create change in your community.
Have you heard of Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr.'s close friend, civil rights organizer, and an openly gay man? What about Jemima Wilkinson, a Quaker who renamed themself "Publick Universal Friend" and declared themself to be neither male nor female after a night of mystical religious visions, and who started a colony named Jerusalem in central New York State? Or transgender Civil War hero Albert D. J. Cashier?
LGBTQ+ people have contributed to US history and culture for over four hundred years. Some of them are famous, like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson; some are more obscure. Each of them illuminates an important facet of our history.
Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.
What was it like to be gay in the 1960s - when homosexuality was defined as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, when women could be arrested just for wearing men's clothes, and vice versa?
On June 28, 2019, an uprising erupted at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, after a police raid. That night became one of the most significant events in the gay liberation movement, and the catalyst for the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.
Drawing from the New York Public Library's archives, The Stonewall Reader is a collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots. Most importantly, the anthology spotlights both iconic activists who were pivotal in the movement, such as Sylvia Rivera, co-founder of Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), as well as forgotten figures like Ernestine Eckstein, one of the few out, African American, lesbian activists in the 1960s.
The anthology focuses on the events of 1969, the five years before, and the five years after. Jason Baumann, the NYPL coordinator of humanities and LGBTQ collections, has edited and introduced the volume to coincide with the NYPL exhibition he has curated on the Stonewall uprising and gay liberation movement of 1969.
Rachel Carson warned us about poisoning the environment; Jane Jacobs fought for livable cities and strong communities; Jane Goodall demonstrated the indelible kinship between humans and animals; and Alice Waters urged us to reconsider what and how we eat.
This is the story of four visionaries who profoundly shaped the world we live in today: their efforts ignited a transformative progressive movement and formed the bedrock of 1960s counterculture. Together, these women--linked not by friendship or field, but by their choice to break with convention--showed what one person speaking truth to power can do.
One thing that unites Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters is, of course, gender. But (perhaps in part because of that fact) what really makes them fit subjects for joint consideration is the idea they shared, which was in many ways quite new when they broached it in the ’60s: that the world, both natural and human, is not a series of mechanistic interactions but rather a web. “Into a blustery, all-male world of patriarchs and company men, technocrats and cold warriors,” Barnet writes, “walked four women who saw things differently and were unafraid to say so.”
These four women were part of an immense shift in culture, and in the way we think about our place in the world. Thanks to Carson, DDT was banned and raptor populations have recovered; thanks to Goodall, we've reduced unnecessary experimentation on chimpanzees; thanks to Jacobs, we (mostly) stopped bulldozing downtowns to put freeways through them; and Waters sparked a movement for local and organic food that echoed throughout the whole country. Their stories will make you think - what do we take for granted that might not be true? Where might the next revolution in thinking come from?
There were two women's movements in the 1970s: a women's rights movement that enjoyed tremendous success, and a conservative women's movement that formed in opposition and grew stronger as the decade continued. In 1977, things were reaching a boiling point. The Equal Rights Amendment faced stiff opposition, and as abortion and the place of lesbians in the women's movement became more prominent issues, women became more and more polarized.
In Houston, in November 1977, the National Women's Conference butted heads with the Pro-Life, Pro-Family Rally. These two events became a turning point in the history of feminism, and the history of how "family values" and "women's rights' became such polarizing topics.
Spruill traces the rise of second-wave feminism during the 1970s, and the rise of conservative women's movements that formed in opposition. We've come such a long way from 1977, but the issues that women fought over then about women's places in their families, politics, and the working world are issues that challenge us to this day.
Divided We Stand explores the role social issues have played in politics by reprising the battle between feminists and their conservative challengers, leading to Democrats supporting women's rights and Republicans casting themselves as the party of family values. As the 2016 presidential election made clear, the women's rights movement and the conservative women's movement have irrevocably affected the course of modern American politics. We cannot fully understand the present without appreciating the pivotal events that Spruill describes.