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Transgender Women of Color at Stonewall

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  History remembers New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn as the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement. On June 28, 1969 it’s bar patrons clashed with the police who had arrived to arrest and shame same-sex couples who came there to dance and socialize with each other. The Rebellion on this day now marks Gay Pride and Christopher Street Day celebrations across the world. And while...
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Lizzie Borden

Lizzie Borden
Award-winning feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden used independent and guerilla film tactics before these terms were commonly known. Her early films take on hot topics in the feminist movement with visual representations of struggles for equality in race, class, gender, and sexuality. Her later films focus on women’s sexuality, and her attempts to move into more mainstream film in the 1990’s were...
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Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller
  Wilma Pearl Mankiller (1945-2010), was born in Okalhoma. She was a tireless advocate for the Cherokee people, and she became the first female principle chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985. With a focus on improved healthcare and education systems, Mankiller served two full terms as Cherokee chief. She also founded the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department, which helped to...
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Alice Paul

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Alice Paul (1185-1977) was crucial to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. constitution granting women the right to vote in 1920. In 1923, she drafted and proposed the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment, then known as the Lucretia Mott Amendment. While studying in England, Paul became active in the suffrage movement, learning important lessons about community organizing an...
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Gloria Steinem

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Gloria Steinem (b. 1934) is a feminist organizer, activist, writer and teacher. In 1972 she founded Ms. magazine with Dorothy Pittman Hughes—the cover image was a drawing with the caption, “Wonder Woman for President.” In 1968, she helped establish New York magazine, which first published the Ms. as a special edition. She published the important essay, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation...
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Bella Abzug

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Famous for her trademark hats, Bella Savitsky Abzug (1920-1968) was a pioneer for civil rights. Born in the Bronx, New York to Russian Jewish parents, Abzug studied at Hunter College, The City University of New York. In the 1940s, she attended Columbia University School of Law after Harvard refused her admission because of her gender.  Abzug became a powerful voice of women's leadership. Wh...
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Black Power Feminism

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As a political practice Black Power feminism bridges black feminist thought and black power politics simultaneously. As a theory it embraces the central tenants of the Black Power movement including self-definition, political participation, and self defense while also prioritizing gender justice. Black Power feminism situates race and gender as equal parts in eradicating various forms of oppres...
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Gloria Anzaldúa: Light in the Dark

Gloria Anzaldua
Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) is one of the most influential Chicana feminist thinkers of the twentieth century. Her visionary writing is key to the development of lesbian/queer theory and for theorizing writing by women of color. Once a member of the Feminist Writers Guild, Anzaldúa’s groundbreaking book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, published in 1987, rocked Women & Gender S...
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Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015)

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Because she was so involved with civil and labor rights, the FBI assigned to follow her decided she was at least, partially, black. But Grace Lee Boggs—born Grace Chin Lee—was Chinese American. Her activism defies categorization. At college, and later in graduate school, Boggs studied Hegel and Marx—she earned her Ph.D at Bryn Mawr. And with her advanced degree, she had trouble finding empl...
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Sojourners for Truth and Justice

sojourners for truth and justice
Inspired by the intersectional activism of Sojourner Truth a century before, Sojourners for Truth and Justice was a radical black women’s human rights organization during the height of the cold war’s Age of McCarthy. The group included Alice Childress, Shirley DuBois, Esther Cooper Jackson, Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Louise Thompson Patterson, and Mary Church Terrell. They advocated a blac...
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Sojourner Truth

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Although she was born into slavery, Sojourner Truth is among the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time,” according to Smithsonian. In 1826, Truth escaped New York slavery with her infant daughter; she later went to court to sue for the recovery of her son. In 1828, she became the first black woman in U.S. history to win a legal case against a white man. Born Isabella Baumfree, she named h...
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Lesbian Lit

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Lesbian Literature includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that feature same sex women’s love, relationships, and themes. While there is a history of lesbian literature before the 20th century—most notably Sappho of Lesbos—most of the literature offered only subtle lesbian themes. The first explicit lesbian novel published in English, The Well of Loneliness (1928) by Radclyffe Hall was deemed obs...
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Shirley Clarke

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Shirley Clarke (October 2, 1919 – September 23, 1997) was a pioneer avant-garde filmmaker and early proponent of video. In 1963, her documentary about the poet Robert Frost won an Academy Award, yet the sexism of Hollywood made a feature film career there impossible. Clarke then moved to The Chelsea Hotel in New York City, divorced her husband, and spent the nineteen sixties making four feature fi...
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The First Black Woman Presidential Candidate

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  Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (1924-2005) made history when she became the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1969; she served 7 terms, ending in 1983. And in 1972, she became The First Black Woman to Run for President on the Democratic Party ticket. She won 152 votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Chisholm’s parents were...
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Alice Bag: Hollywood Punk Scene

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In the late 1970s, Alice Bag (born Alicia Armendariz) the daughter of Mexican immigrants, helped birth the Hollywood punk scene with the band The Bags, before punk was even called punk. In her late teens, Alice connected with other outcast youth, many of them queers of color, who possessed little money but much imagination. They transformed their anger, humor, and ingenuity into potent fashion and...
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Dolores Huerta

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History knows Dolores Huerta (b. 1930) as a powerful union organizer, Chicana civil rights leader, and feminist activist. In the 1960s, Dolores Huerta, along with César Chávez, united Mexican, Mexican-American and Filipino farmworkers and founded the United Farmworker Union (UFW) in central California. Huerta led the struggle to organize exploited migrant farmworkers who worked in abysmal conditio...
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#NotYourSidekick

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In 2013 Suey Park raised the profile of Asian American feminism in the digital age with her Twitter campaign. In one tweet, she writes that she’s “tired of patriarchy in Asian American spaces and sick of the racism in white feminism.” In another, she writes, “I’d rather base build with other Asian Americans than rely on allies, who have a history of being absent.” Park’s description of racism a...
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Transgender

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Frank Benson’s 3-D printed sculpture, Juilanna (2015), is a twenty-first century response to the marble sculpture Sleeping Hermaphroditus (1620) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In Benson’s work the model’s gaze, breasts, penis, and futuristic sheen challenge the fixed idea of “female.” Rather than on an abstracted or mythical figure, Benson modeled his sculpture on a real person, Juliana Huxtable, an Ame...
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The Battle of the Sexes

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In the world of professional tennis, there were two matches between a male and female player that became known as The Battle of the Sexes. They took place in 1973, the year of Roe v. Wade, and one year after congressional ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and the passage of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education prog...
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