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Suzy Post Research

March 25, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Primary source, Social history

Suzy Post is an activist, who has worked tirelessly her entire life to gain equal rights for all people. A few of the many causes that she has devoted her life to are opening housing, desegregating schools based on both race and gender, and fighting against the Vietnam War. Each of these causes has greatly impacted Post and pushed her to fight for equal rights for all. All of these organizations and campaigns have several different resources that have helped to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of what Post’s involvement in each of these organizations. However, one resource that combines all of these resources and many more into one is an oral history interview by Sarah Thuesen for the Southern Oral History Program Collection. This oral history puts all of Post’s

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

achievements and activities into one place that allows for great research to be done on Post’s life.

This oral history is extremely useful first of all because Post talks about all that she has done in her life. This allows for overviews on each organization and cause that she was a part of. She goes through what she did for each of the organizations and the positions that she held. This shows a step by step process of the movements that she was a part of throughout her life. By using this oral history interview, a lot can be seen about her life. Not only are the actual steps that she took shown but the importance of each of these steps is also shown.

By listening to or reading through the transcript of this interview, a lot can be gained about what Post saw to be the most important causes she was involved in during her life. The interview is Post talking, which is extremely important. This lets her stress certain topics by talking about them more and in more detail as well as talking about what she wants to talk about. A lot of the questions that are asked during this interview are open-ended which permit Post to talk about what she feels is of greater significance. This shows what Post was truly passionate about and which jobs and causes she dedicated more time and energy into. This also demonstrates which ones she enjoyed working for.

Post isn’t afraid to let her voice be heard. She says what she wants and how she feels about certain people and topics, which is extremely useful. This illustrates a greater understanding of who Post is and what she enjoys, dislikes, infuriates her, pleases her, and what she thinks should and need to be changed. This, among the other things that were expressed above about the usefulness of this interview, add up to this interview being the most useful resource that I have found so far on Suzy Post’s life, accomplishments, and causes that she has been a part of. This interview is one of the best research materials that I have found that incorporates Posts past and present actions, her feelings on what she has done, and how she believes society has and should change to better benefit equality in all areas.

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“Hall of Fame 2007 – Suzy Post.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 25 March 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. Accessed 25 March 2013.

“Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006.” Interview by Sarah Thuesen. Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South. http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/playback.html?base_file=U-0178. 25 March 2013.

Hundred Years Later: Has Anything Changed?

November 11, 2010 in Intellectual history, Social history

Four Families in One School

Cora Wilson Stewart Moonlight School

A constant role that women have taken on throughout Kentucky’s history is the role of educator.  Despite efforts by countless teachers, Kentucky’s public education system has steadily been at the bottom of the nation wide average for graduating and for diversity among staff. Almost 100 years age in 1911, a woman named Cora Wilson Stewart started the moonlight classes across Kentucky, an attempt to teach adults how to read and write. This was picked up by other states and countries as a plausible way to decrease the illeteracy rate among adults. On the first night of class 1200 people went to the 50 different school houses across the state to get their first reading lesson.[1] Despite her efforts Kentucky is still at the bottom of the totum pole and the literacy rate is still low.

Today in our public schools the graduation rate for black students is 11% less than that of white students and 24% less than that of asian students. The minority teachers are also missing in the classroom because despite minorities being 13% of the student population, the minority teachers are only 4.5% of all teachers.[2] Despite the small improvement over the past hundred years we must stay vigilant. Facts such as these should be seen as motivators for my generation to improve and work on these issues. Why is black graduation rates lower than whites? Why are the minority teachers a lower percentage?

I think to answer these questions we have to look at the enviornment in which people are being raised. The institutional racism in our country needs to be addressed and changed. Without brave women like Coral Wilson Stewart, where would be today? Education is our future and we need to find  new ways to guarentee that all public education is the same all across the country. Race, gender and social class should never play a part in how education is crafted and shaped. We all deserve equal education.

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Moonlight school image is from the Cora Wilson Stewart Photographic Collection, ca. 1900-1940: pa58m25 University of Kentucky, digitized 1-20-2002 for the Kentuckiana Digital Library,  http://kdl.kyvl.org/images/kukav/pa58m25/0354.jpg

http://kchr.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/234E4D12-51F1-491E-8654-DC4F5DD28388/0/AAStatus2010.pdf

http://www.womeninkentucky.com/site/education/c_stewart.html

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