35 Years of Writing Women Back Into History

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Feb 25, 2015



March 2015 marks the 35th Anniversary of the National Women’s History Project.

In celebration of this landmark, nine women who have contributed to “writing women back into history” have been especially recognized.

Together, these 2015 Honorees have written, co-authored, or edited more than 60 books. Collectively, their creations reveal the depth and breadth of the multicultural female experience. 

Lynn Sherr, an American broadcast journalist and author, began her career at Conde Nast, when she won the Mademoiselle Magazine Guest Editor Competition in college. She soon moved on to the Associated Press, WCBS-TV, PBS, and ultimately ABC, where she covered politics, space and social change for more than 30 years. As a correspondent for the ABC news magazine 20/20, she received the George Foster Peabody Award in 1994 for The Hunger Inside about anorexia.  
Eleanor Flexner’s groundbreaking 1959 book Century of Struggle: The Women’s Rights Movement in the United States marked her as a pioneer in the field of women’s studies.In this publication she related women’s physically courageous and ingenious work for the vote - to other 19th and early 20th century social, labor, and reform movements. She included campaigns for equal education, the abolition of slavery, and the advocacy of temperance laws.  
Darlene Clark Hine, historian, sought not only to explore African American history, but to expand the discipline of history itself by focusing on black women “who remained at the very bottom of the ladder in the United States.” A leading expert on the subject of race, class, and gender in American society, she is credited with helping to establish a doctoral field in Comparative Black History at Michigan State University.  
Holly Near has inspired generations with music that chronicles progressive activism. She wrote about the killings at Kent and Jackson State, the struggles of The United Farm Workers and the frightening consequences of war. Her work with women in the military and women in countries occupied by the US military led her to rethink the role of women and the policy that challenges women in a very particular way.  
Delilah L. Beasley was the first African American woman to be regularly published in a major metropolitan newspaper. At her memorial service, which was a testament to her life-long crusade for justice, all attending stood and made the following pledge: "Every life casts it shadow, my life plus others make power to move the world. I, therefore pledge my life to the living work of brotherhood and material understanding between the races."    
Polly Welts Kaufman is a writer, teacher and above all an activist for equality. Her path to writing women’s lives began with the sound of a door closing, heavy as it was with gendered prejudice. Graduating from Brown University in 1951 with a degree in American Studies, she planned to teach high school in Providence, Rhode Island, only to be asked, “Are you married or going to be married?” Answering “Yes,” she was told to look elsewhere for employment!    
Vicki L. Ruiz was the first in her family to receive an advanced degree, earning a Ph.D in History at Stanford in 1982. Two months later she showed up for her first teaching position with a baby on her hip and another on the way. Over the course of three decades, she has been a force in shaping the field of Chicana history which has been "a grand adventure, which began at the kitchen table listening to the stories of my mother and grandmother."    
Judy Yung is best known for her groundbreaking work in documenting the immigration history of Angel Island and the life stories of Chinese American women. As a second-generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco Chinatown, Judy embarked on a lifelong mission to reclaim the history of Chinese Americans and to educate Americans about their lives, struggles, and contributions to this country.    
Gladys Tantaquidgeon grew up in the Mohegan community of Uncasville, CT learning traditional practices, beliefs, and herbalism. She only completed grade school but at age 20 she took the opportunity to study anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and completed extensive research on Indian tribal cultures. In 1931 she co-founded Tantaquidgeon Museum; it remains the oldest American Indian owned museum in the U.S.    


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