Wise words by Septima Poinsette Clark: “I believe unconditionally in the ability of people to respond when they are told the truth. We need to be taught to study rather than believe, to inquire rather than to affirm.” Martin Luther King, Jr. called Septima Clark “The Mother of the Movement.” I photographed the historic marker several years ago during a research trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It reads: Septima P Clark/Expressway/By Legislative Act/in 1978/Named in Her Honor/Community Leader/Educator/Civil Rights Leader/Dedicated 1978
Nobody’s free until everybody’s free. Fannie Lou Hamer, (Oct. 6, 1917-March 14, 1977) Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Anti-Poverty Activist, Singer; Statue located in Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Park, Ruleville, Mississippi
Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world. Mary McLeod Bethune, (July 10, 1875-May 18, 1955); Educator, Friend and Conscience of Eleanor Roosevelt, Advisor to U.S. Presidents: Statue is located in Lincoln Park, East Capitol Stree1 & 13th N.E.
“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’ And I did.”
In March of 1955, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. She was manhandled off the bus, locked in an adult jail, and fined. A year later, she became one of the five women to file a suit “Browder v. Gayle,” challenging segregation of public transportation as unconstitutional. Called a “star witness” by a lawyer at the trial before three federal judges, Colvin said afterwards, “I was exhausted but proud – I felt I had done my best.” Four months later, the judges ruled that bus segregation in Alabama was unconstitutional, a decision that was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Hearing the court’s decision gave Claudette Colvin a feeling of “joy for my people and pride for what I had done.” She was empowered by a teacher who taught about citizens’ rights under the U.S. Constitutions. (I wrote about Claudette Colvin in my book “Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America”)
Paul Ryan’s office is conducting a phone poll, hoping to hear overwhelming opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Here’s how you can participate to make him know that there is OVERWHELMING SUPPORT for the Affordable Care Act. I just called Paul Ryan’s office. It’s a prompt asking for your opinion on the Affordable Care Act. It took me 20 seconds to do. You can leave a voice mail too if you’d like.
Call 202-225-3500 … they answered my call immediately; others have had a wait a few seconds.
There’s a menu of several choices: Press 2 to weigh in on the issue. You’ll hear a recording about the bill to repeal it. HANG ON for about 15-25 seconds while they do their propaganda!!!
Then Press 1 to support continuing the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Knowing that Linda can still recite the words of Emma Lazarus’s poem with its iconic words “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/ . . .”, this morning I asked her when she learned it: “There was a musical version I learned in school. We had a wonderful music teacher in 7th grade,” she said. The image is a political cartoon by Abigail Gray Swartz, the illustrator of “The New Yorker” 2/6/17 cover. A bronze plaque inscribed with the text of Lazarus’ poem is mounted on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The lines from Lazarus’s poem on Swartz’s image read: “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The wretched refuse of your teeming shores./ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, /I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Wow!! Fabulous cover by Abigail Gray Swartz on “The New Yorker” for week of Feb. 6th. An inspiring, powerful update of J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We Can Do It” poster in honor of the Women’s March on Washington – I love it!!!
Linda and I went to the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017, with oldest grandchild Sophie and her parents Jonathan and Katrin. On the way to the March we met this family who were happy to pose for a picture.
Two young boys from Ohio with their signs, studying the Metro map with their mother. Exclamations of joy and enthusiasm echoed in the Metro as waves of marchers ascended on the escalator at the Capitol South station.
Two students from Bowdoin College in Maine, asked if they could talk with us. “Of course,” we said, figuring that they were trying to fulfill a professor’s assignment. “We can talk while you walk,” they said. So we did. We gasped at our first sight of the countless number of marchers on Independence Ave – astonishing, mind-boggling, thrilling – and that was just a fraction of the number of marchers- YIPPEE!!!
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s great, great granddaughter, Coline Jenkins, who wrote a wonderful blurb for my book, just emailed me this photo from Washington, D.C. Linda and I managed to knit 4 “pussy hats,” as per instructions on the “Pussyhat Project” website, enough for the granddaughters who will be marching with us . . .
My longtime friend Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director and Cofounder of the National Women’s History Project (the group that spearheaded the establishment of National Women’s History Month) just sent me a jpeg of their wonderful new publication. I bought several copies. p.s. Linda and I just revived our very dormant knitting skills to knit hats to wear for the march. www.nwhp.org