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My Friend Suzy

October 11, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Primary source

An update on the Suzy Post project (http://www.kywcrh.org/projects/kchr-hall-of-fame/post).

When I signed up to do a project on civil rights activist Suzanne Post, I was highly unaware of what all I would gain from that project. Suzy is a phenomenal woman, and she went from a figure in history, to a personal friend of mine. In studying her, I learned of her conviction and dedication. In knowing her, I have learned of her charisma, sweetness, and true passion. Since the interview, I have been fortunate to have correspondence, as well as to meet with Suzy again.  We have plans to meet up in the fall.

As a fellow activist, I find her insight invaluable.  She continues, despite her age, to be involved within the community.  She has never given up on the issues she is passionate about. Conversations with her provide a perspective unlike any other- a woman that has been through so much, and persevered so honorably. She never runs out of solid advice or stories.

This experience has reminded me the importance of seeking out the exceptional people within our communities. I want to raise Suzy up, to provide a role model for young girls across Kentucky and beyond. Imagine if a generation of young girls and women aspired to be more like Suzy, and less like the common idols and role models perpetrated by modern media. I believe in intelligent women, in women of substance, in women who can stand up and make a change even when it’s easier to be silent.

I am so thankful for the experience with KYWCRM for introducing me to a role model, mentor, and friend for life, Suzy Post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post

Project Collins

April 22, 2013 in Historiography

Martha Layne Collins

As of right now, as a group we have made a lot of head way but have encountered some road blocks where they were least expected. After getting help from Miss Puckett about some new leads, we found that in most cases they were either disconnect or not the quality of source that we were expecting. However, we have quite a bit to go on as of now as we near the completeionof the project, namely some old classmates of Collins’ that we still have yet to contact. We are meeting this week before class to try and consolidate our research so that way we can put the information into the webpage as quickly as possible. We’re still in the gathering information stage however, so asthetically, the webpage may not be very pretty, but we still hope to fill it with as much information as possible on Collins from before she was governor. Hopefully once we get a good look at her nomination for the Hall of Fame, we’ll have a better idea of what she contributed to in the context of Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era. Until then we just have to continue to meet and bring our ideas into one cohesive unit.

Suzy Post Project

April 15, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Research methods, Social history

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

Suzy Post was a civil rights activist, worked towards gaining equality for women in all areas, joined the anti-war movement, held many positions in different organizations such as the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, and worked towards creating a better society for everyone. Post recently was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and for one of my honors classes I am working with another girl in my class on creating a webpage on Post’s life and all of her accomplishments. This project allows for all of Post’s accomplishments and hard work to be recognized and appreciated by all.

For our project, my partner and I have found many different sources, one of the best being oral history interviews. Suzy Post has given a number of oral histories that highlight different movements that she was involved in, how she felt about society, and the influence she had during this time period. Through these oral history interviews, my partner and I have gained much deeper understanding of what Post was going through and how she was affected by it. We have gone through all of these interviews and are working on compiling the information and putting it into a format that is accessible to everyone else.

Not only have the oral history interviews been helpful but so have many other sources. By looking at the organizations that she was a part of and talking to those who knew her and have done extensive research on her, we have gained more of an insight into her life. We have contacted Dr. Catherine Fosl and some of Dr. Fos’l’s colleagues at the Anne Braden Institute at the University of Louisville to obtain more information about Post’s involvement in the Louisville civil rights movement. They have provided us with more sources and have been extremely helpful in our gaining a larger comprehension of what Post was like and how she was involved during this time period.

As we contacted these people, we were pointed to talking to Suzy Post herself. After contacting Post, she has agreed to do an interview with my partner and I. We believe that this will allow us to be able to ask the questions that we haven’t been able to find answers to and to be able to fully understand what this time period was like coming from Post herself.

Our project is going exceptionally well, and my partner and I are in the final stretch of putting all of the information together. We believe that we have researched the time period, the organizations, and Post, herself, very well. We are looking forward to seeing the finished project and being able to provide a great wealth of information on a truly wonderful person.

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“Suzy Post – Hall of Fame 2007.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights –. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Catherine Fosl, Women’s and Gender Studies Department.” University of Louisville. https://louisville.edu/wgs/catherine-fosl.html. 15 Apr. 2013.

Votes for Women

January 26, 2013 in 1920s-30s, Political history, Primary source

After reading Emma Guy Cromwell’s Manual for Voters, I now understand that my duty to vote is much more of a big deal than previously thought.

I already knew that voting is a right that comes with our citizenship to the United States and that it is important to take part in deciding who our leaders will be, but as a woman, I see that it is more important for me to take advantage of an entitlement that was once reserved solely for men.

The issue of women’s suffrage first gained recognition with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. At this landmark gathering of prominent women—including Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton—there was much discussion centered on the exclusion of women in society. Because the struggle for women’s rights was long-fought, I think it fitting to show appreciation for the perseverance and diligence these women had by participating in elections. It is a privileged to be able to vote and we as women should not ignore our past or be indifferent to the choosing of our country’s governors.

According to Cromwell’s Manual, our citizenship to this nation gives us many freedoms and protection from the government, but our relationship with America should not be one-sided. In exchange for the rights we are entitled to, we must do our duty by voting in return. Cromwell stated that, “we must be familiar with our national and state Constitutions.” I will not pretend that I know the Constitutions very well, but reading the Manual made me realize how important it is to stay informed when it comes to politics. When one is ill informed, it becomes more difficult to form a personal opinion or even understand the truth to “government and its workings.”

I think that many Americans do not have all the facts when it comes to making political decisions. Some choose not to participate at all or vote based on the little information they do know. I believe that it is important to stay objective when entering the political sphere because bias can easily sway one’s views toward a certain direction.

To conclude, I will end with a personal story. I voted in my first presidential election last November. I have always heard that one vote really does not make a difference in the outcome, but I still believe it does. I especially believed it when I watched the second inauguration of our president this past Monday. Seeing the man I voted for made me proud that I could be part of a milestone moment as a woman voter and as a citizen of the United States.

Resources:

Cromwell, Emma Guy (1920). Citizenship: A Manual for Voters. Frankfort, Kentucky: Emma Guy Cromwell. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25598/25598-h/25598-h.htm.

 

Sallie Bingham project

January 14, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Primary source, Social history

Sallie Bingham

Sallie Bingham, Wikipedia article

My essay for an Honors class at the University of Kentucky focuses on the long-term impact of the writings of feminist and philanthropist Sallie Bingham from Louisville, Kentucky.   Please feel free to read it and add your comments at the project page:

http://www.kywcrh.org/projects/bingham

 

Profile photo of Measha

by Measha

The 2nd Wave of Feminism

November 29, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

The 2nd Wave of Feminism occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s. This Women’s Rights Movement occurred because of gender equality. “Second wave feminism rose out of the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in which women, disillusioned with their second-class status even in the activist environment of student politics, began to band together to contend against discrimination.” [1]  Some women began this second wave of feminism in response to President John F. Kennedy creating of the President’s Commission on Status of Women. Many activists believed the Commission’s findings supported only the nuclear family and emphasized preparing women for parenthood rather than any and all opportunities in life. [2] Women’s rights activists felt that this plan supported employment discrimination and unequal pay. In the 2nd wave of feminism women worked to bring about change and to stand up for themselves.

[1] “What do the terms 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wave Feminism mean?” Women’s Studies, Georgetown College, http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/Departments/ws/1st,_2nd,_3rd_wave.htm

[2] “The second wave of feminism,” Encyclopedia Britannica (online), http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/724633/feminism/216008/The-second-wave-of-feminism

Who will our future daughters be?

November 5, 2010 in 1960s-1970s, Political history, Social history

Has anyone ever picked up a local, free publication called Skirt Magazine? It’s one of my favorites, and the November 2010 issue has made me smile. Inside I found an article by Shelby Knox called “Where Have All The Women Gone?” After reading it, I just knew it had to be shared!

The author asks her readers very simple questions that bring ‘the white elephant’ to the table to be discussed. She states, “While American women have progressed leaps and bounds since the feminist movement in the 1970’s, we still lag far behind in recognizing women’s contributions to society in the myriad of ways that we as a culture connote who and what is important.” (Shelby Knox, 2010). Shelby continues with her examples that build the case at hand and explore why ‘we still lag far behind’. Her explanation says, “Because we’ve lived for too long with the myth that men created the world and everything good in it and women stayed at home and did the laundry. Statues, stamps, street names and national holidays (of which there is not a single one honoring a woman), are how we as a culture teach children who is and is not important in our nation’s history and, by extension, our future. If young women can’t see ourselves as the inventors, artists, revolutionaries and creators that came before, how are we supposed to fashion ourselves into the modern version?” (Shelby Knox, 2010).

This point is very powerful and I wish for it to make a positive impact on those who read it. In addition, the article holds many other points that are worth reading: Equal Visibility Everywhere (EVE), National Women’s History Museum, and Victoria Woodhull.

Shelby Knox, SK. (2010, November). Where have all the women gone. Skirt Magazine, 44.

Profile photo of Mary

by Mary

Women in the 1940s and 1950s…possibly forgotten?

September 22, 2010 in 1940s-1950s, Economic history, Social history

When thinking about influential women in the United States and Kentucky history we can go back the 20s when women were fighting for the right to vote. We also look at the 60s where the major feminist wave took over and women were fighting to be seen as equal competitors with men. So it leaves us with the question what about the 40s and 50s? What were women doing then that would be influential to our society today? When looking back at the way women were portrayed in movies such as “Pleasantville” and television during that time they were still seen as the caregivers and taking care of the home while the husband goes off to work to provide for his family. Many women during this time were actually working in factories, underpaid and unappreciated.

The working-class woman during this time was earning substantially less money than a man doing the same job. These women in a way set a groundwork for the generations to come and the struggle for equality in the work place. These women were protesting for equal wages while getting laid off, beaten and scrutinized while doing so. They formend unions to fight for equality, if these acts were to not have happened during the 40’s and 50’s than who’s to say women wouldn’t still be trying to fight for equality in the workplace and other places.

The struggles that these women went through is something that our generation and generations to come will never have to experience. Although the right to vote was granted for these women there was still struggle to find equality. The most inequality was found in the West and the South for women during this time. The South of course being traditional and not wanting women to go to work because that was a man’s job. It almost seems like the men during this time were scared that the lines between masculinity and feminity would become blurred and they were scared for women to start becoming their own person and having an identity. There was a need for social reform during this time. Although the 20’s gets all the attention for women gaining the right to vote and the 60’s gets attention for the feminist movement, women today would not enjoy the advantages they get if it weren’t for the 1940s and 1950s. These times truly set the groundwork for the feminist movement of the 60s and the equal work place we enjoy today.

http://www.cluw.org/docpages/WorkingClassWomenandUnions.htm
This website gave helpful information and a guide as to how the 1940s and 50s for women went about.

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