Friday, December 15, 2006

Ain’t I A Woman?

In 1851, at the Ohio Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth gave her most famous speech on behalf of women’s rights, commonly known as “Ain’t I a Woman?” Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would make Sojourner Truth the first African-American woman honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol building. Now it’s up to the president to sign the bill.

I’m glad that Sojourner Truth is being recognized, but some people think she should be honored in the Capitol’s “Portrait Monument” instead. Read more about the controversy here, then tell us what YOU think.

Another one of my favorite women from herstory is Fannie Lou Hamer, who stood up for black citizens’ right to vote during the Civil Rights movement. In 1962, Fannie Lou was the first to raise her hand when members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) asked for volunteers from Fannie Lou’s town to go to the courthouse to register to vote. Police beat and jailed Fannie Lou and the other volunteers when they went to the courthouse, but that didn’t stop her from traveling around the country to register other voters.

I have a couple of posters about Fannie Lou by local poet and photographer Sue (Lorenzi) Sojourner hanging in my cubicle. And I learned more about SNCC when I attended the opening of Sue’s Some People of That Place photo exhibit a few years ago. It was amazing--I'm awed by the courage of so many women and men who took a stand!

Who are YOUR favorite women from herstory? Who inspires you? Leave a comment or write to to let us know!

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