Hello there, Virginia! For Women’s History Month, I want to offer you a whole bouquet of rich sources. Why so much at once, you ask? Well, because I’m going to stay busy with women’s futures for the rest of March. I’m going to keep on with the Virginia ERA Network project, and guide our members on writing to Congress to lift that pernicious deadline and to write letters to the editors of our great local newspapers. We need to remind women that they have more at stake than they know.
First, our very own Virginia NOW Foremothers Oral History Project. You can view the videos on our You Tube channel. You can read about the project on its webpage in our site. It’s still very rough, and there’s loads of other archival material I’m going to organize and present one of these days, when I carve out more time for it. There are some real gems in here, and there’s more raw video coming soon.
Second, you know the Turning Point Suffragists Memorial Project, right? Well, check in with them regularly. They’re doing amazing work, coming ever closer to publicly memorializing the sacrifices these foremothers made for the vote. They have some spiffy new social media rocking on Facebook and WordPress.
But, that’s our local work and a history populated largely by one kind of feminist. In honor of our Young Feminists Conference, April 10-12 in Richmond, and the more complex kind of feminism embraced by many in Generation X and the Millennials, the third and fourth waves of feminism, I want to guide you to some other organizations doing a great job celebrating women’s history.
Though these sources are more than anyone can take in quickly, they are but a hint at the scope of women’s history in the US and in our cultures of origin. I invite you to begin here and explore as far your mind and time will take you. Don’t worry, there’s no quiz. Consider this an invitation to great community and solidarity.
Asian American/Pacific Islander women also have recorded their rich history. A number of good sources are in this Daily Kos article for 2012, Women of Color in Women’s History: Asian and Asian Pacific Americans, and in this historical text some of which can be read on Google Books (but which you should buy) Women in Asia: Restoring Women to History. And again, because it is our art, our stories, that keep us connected and strong for the work of change, I direct you to Vona Voices and Asian American Writers Workshop where you’ll discover and rediscover AAPI voices vital to us all.
Madame Noire has run a great profile series on African American women who don’t get much recognition, but deserve it. About.com has a well curated collection of articles on African American Women’s History, and National Women’s History Month offers a great overview of the trouble and triumph of black women in US history. An excellent source for discovering, or reading new work by African American writers is Cave Canem — go, read. I also recommend the African American Literature and Culture Society, and BlackWriters.org.
Of Jewish women in American history, there is a very thorough compendium at the Jewish Virtual Library, and the amazing Jewish Women’s Archive. Brandies and Feminist Press are cooperating to publish a series of contemporary Jewish American women writers, their work is breathtaking!!
Latina Magazine is running a great personality piece featuring 40 Latina Women Who Changed the World. Ms. Blog is taking a more historical perspective with their 5 Fascinating Latinas for Women’s History Month article. For those who want dig deeper, Powerful Latinas offers a great reading list on Latina and Chicana history. Thinking more currently, Latino Rebels is running several great features on women this month. And because our communities live more vibrantly by our arts, Lettras Latinas is always connecting us with great contemporary writing.
Gay Star News offers 11 inspiring LGBT women of history, and HuffPost ran a portraits piece in 2012 on Famous Women Who Loved Women. Among many issues facing the LGBTQIA community is the current rash of murders of trans women of color. I encourage each of you to find a way, no matter what it is, to honor all women and our history by finding a way to bring awareness to this issue, and pressure for better education and protections. It happens that this year we are experience violence against these women with greater intensity than previously. We must seize this moment. The women of this community are also fine writers. AutoStraddle recently published a list of 10 novels and memoirs by and about Black lesbian, bisexual and queer women. I would also direct you to both Sibling Rivalry Press and Lambda Literary for more great writing from LGBTQIA women.
Again, Daily Kos’ Women of Color in Women’s History series in 2012 offers terrific portraits of Native Women in our history, and Ms. Blog’s 10 Things You Should Know about Native American Women is a quick and essential read. The Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains is a good place to get familiar with contemporary issues facing Native women, as are NAWHERC and IndianLaw.org. The Open Education Database offers a list of 20 Native women authors we all deserve to know. I also recommend the poetry anthology Sing, edited by Allison Hedge-Coke, which contains poems by indigenous women through out the Americas, many in their original languages and in translation.