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Unsung Heroines

Celebrating the Accomplishments of Under-Recognized Women

Beate Sirota Gordon: Gave Japanese Women Equal Rights

March 30, 2009

Read about the woman who was instrumental in shaping women’s (and basic human) rights in Japan–even as an outsider/expatriate, and at age 22. Beate Sirota Gordon grew up in Tokyo, the daughter of a Ukrainian expatriate teacher. She observed the period in Japan when wives walked behind their husbands. When she became the only woman…

Minnijean Brown Trickey, Environmental and Civil Rights Activist

March 26, 2009

In 1957, Minnijean Brown Trickey was one of nine African-American students who broke the color barrier at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Read an interview with Trickey about her experiences as a member of the ‘Little Rock Nine,’ and her work as a social activist today. Minnijean Brown Trickey was only fifteen years…

Carol Kaye: You’ve Heard Her Bass, but not Her Name

March 25, 2009

The number, and breadth of the songs and hits that session bassist Carol Kaye worked on is almost inconceivable. Kaye was at the center of both the pop and movie soundtrack world of Los Angeles for more than a decade; yet she’s still virtually unknown. Even though you probably haven’t heard her name before, there’s…

Frances ‘Sissy’ Farenthold, Tenacious Texas Politician

March 24, 2009

The original title for this 1975 video, containing an interview conducted by Studs Terkel, is “Texas Maverick”. Farenthold, a Texas lawyer and legislator, was the first woman to be seriously floated as a VP candidate in 1972. Though she didn’t win, she’s had an admirable career and has been an outspoken critic of government on…

PBS’ Favorite Unsung Heroines

March 24, 2009

March is Women’s History Month–but we’d like to shine a light on women of immense accomplishment, fortitude and inspiration, though not an equal amount of recognition. From Bill Moyers, Maria Hinojosa, Judy Woodruff, Lidia Bastianich, Martin Savidge, Tom Stewart and Paula Zahn, their personal unsung heroines. Bill Moyers from Moyers Journal, on Grace Lee Boggs…

7 Unsung Heroines from Now on PBS’ ‘Your America’ Project

March 24, 2009

Meet the local heroes profiled in the Now on PBS book Your America and watch video of their inspiring stories. 7 of the 12 are women, engaged in everything from ending domestic abuse, forcing chemical companies to stop dumping, and whistleblowing on Halliburton. See all stories…

Judith Ginsburg: in the Jewish Resistance During WWII

March 24, 2009

One of the fortunate few who survived the Holocaust, young Judith Ginsburg served with a Jewish resistance group that successfully fought the Nazis. Learn how she endured though horrific times. Today 84-year-old Judith Ginsburg lives in Florida, not far from two of her four children. Originally from the city of Lida, which is now in…’s ‘Unsung Heroines’

March 24, 2009

We consider an ‘unsung heroine’ a woman whose work/life has been under-recognized. Unfortunately, that still means most women! But here are our picks for groundbreaking inventors, artists, scientists, and more, who go beyond the “first woman to…” role. (picture at right: Margaret Knight’s paper bag folding machine patent.) Who is your Unsung Heroine? Here are…

Jane Jacobs: Without Her, NYC Would Have Been Vastly Different

March 24, 2009

Some of our heroines are recognized for their work–but sometimes more locally than nationally. Though she was instrumental in saving the character of the Village in Manhattan, elsewhere Jacobs’ work and her ideas are still slow to be implemented, if only because they often go against the schemes of capital in favor of a smaller-scale,…