Tag Archives: womens history month

9 Things American Women Take For Granted

Celebrate National Women’s History Month on The Frisky this month! We’ll be highlighting cool, inspiring ladies and talking about the ways women have gotten ahead over the years.

Women have never had it easy, but we have more opportunities and freedom than we did even a century ago. Keep reading for nine rights you should take advantage of. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Marvelyn Brown

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

MARVELYN BROWN (1984- )

Marvelyn Brown probably never expected to make it to “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” Early in life, she may not have thought she was going to be featured in Newsweek, Ebony, and Fortune. No doubt she wishes she was featured worldwide for a different reason other than having HIV, but her strength to speak out is admirable.

What makes Brown an amazing woman is not all of the media attention. It’s not about having a book out called The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive. What makes her amazing is that on July 17, 2003, when she found out she was HIV positive at the age of 19, she immediately reached for her cell phone to notify all of her sexual partners. It’s difficult enough to digest that kind of news, but from her hospital bed she took responsibility for it. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Lydia Thompson

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

LYDIA THOMPSON (1838-1908)

Born in 1838, Eliza Hodges Thompson was a London dancer, actress and theater producer. As a teenager, she toured as a dancer throughout Europe, starring in many successful burlesque shows around London. She won notoriety for introducing burlesque to America in 1868. Thompson traveled the states with her troupe, the British Blondes, from 1868-1874. Their first hit show, “Ixion,” was a comedy that featured cross-dressing women playing men’s roles.

Thompson’s shows included a mix of pantomime, burlesque, improvisation, singing, dancing and racy costumes. The scantily clad dancers wore skirts that were above the knee and flesh-colored tights. While they never appeared in the nude, the shows were popular because they were sexually suggestive and drew attention to the female body.
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Women Who Rock: Josephine Baker

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

JOSEPHINE BAKER (1906-1975)

Josephine Baker, born on June 3, 1906, was the quintessential “wild child” of the 1920s. She was born Freda Josephine McDonald in East St. Louis, Ill., to Carrie McDonald. Although it’s not known exactly who Josephine’s father was, it’s believed that he was McDonald’s white employer at the time. At least that’s what Josephine believed.

Baker’s childhood was not what anyone would call easy. At either, she was abused by a lady she was working for because she used too much soap in the laundry. By the time she was 12, she had dropped out of school and had become one of the “street children” that slept in cardboard boxes and ate from garbage cans. She earned money by dancing on street corners.

She got her start in Vaudeville at 15 in the chorus line. There was no turning back. Josephine Baker broke the color barrier in theater and movies. She made her name in the Follies Bergères, and was recipient of the Croix de Guerre for her war efforts on behalf of her adopted country of France.

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Women Who Rock: Mary McLeod Bethune

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

MARY McLEOD BETHUNE (1875-1955)

Born July 10, 1875, Mary McLeod Bethune made great strides in education, social justice and positive thinking for women, children and African-American society.

Mary McLeod Bethune is best known for founding Bethune-Cookman University. Though the school is a prestigious university today, it began as a small school for disadvantaged African-American girls.

Mary McLeod Bethune fought for the rights of women, for education without segregation, health care for black children, and much more. She did all this while still focusing on her school. Through the years, Mary McLeod Bethune championed many human rights causes and served as an adviser to five American presidents.

In addition, she served as president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, founded the National Council for Negro Women, was appointed to the Child Welfare Conference under the Coolidge administration, and served in many other important roles.

Wherever Mary McLeod Bethune saw need for social remedies, she found ways to help. She opened a hospital to serve the African-American population when a sick black man was turned away from a Daytona Beach hospital.

Mary McLeod Bethune is known for saying, “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” She truly lived by those words, and though she died on May 18, 1955, her legacy continues. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Gwendolyn Brooks

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

GWENDOLYN BROOKS (1917-2000)

There are several influential African Americans — women especially — who sometimes fall through the cracks of history. Gwendolyn Brooks is one of them. Where women are concerned, there are few socially and politically influential people who can be called amazing. But a quick peek into the life and accomplishments of Gwendolyn Brooks is sufficient to comprehend the impact that she has had on today’s African American culture.

Born in 1917, Gwendolyn Brooks came from a typical loving family with parents who celebrated education. Her mother left a teaching career to focus on family life. And because the costs of medical school were too high, her father pushed aside the idea of becoming a doctor, settling for janitorial work instead. Years later, Gwendolyn Brooks herself would experience the sting of “settling,” taking on typing jobs and domestic work despite having submitted over 75 poems to The Chicago Defender.
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