In 2010, Steinem wrote for TIME : “Her success in achieving economic autonomy for her people made her a symbol of hope for original cultures and the movement of women around the world. ” The Washington Post via Getty Im — 2010 The Washington Post In the early 1980s, before she was elected as leader and organizer within the Cherokee Nation, Mankiller demonstrated her skills as a leader and organizer during the Bell Water Project and helped bring a reliable water supply system to the small Oklahoma City largely
The scene is just one example of the partnership that Steinem established throughout her life with women of color as she engaged in activism and grassroots organizing in the 1960s and ’70s. It also speaks to what has only become more recently understood by media institutions, how crucial it is to ensure that women of color are not marginalized in movements and in the way those movements are covered and remembered. The Glorias, which premiered in January at Sundance and is available for sale on Amazon and other VOD platforms starting 30 September, is the filmmaker Julie Taymor’s adaptation of Steinem’s 2015 bestseller My Life on the Road. The film follows Steinem through a series of nonlinear moments that are essential to her life and work – from her travels in India in her 20s to the rise of Ms. Magazine as well as the formation of relationships she had with other activists who were central to the women’s movement.
In a 1971 essay for the New York Times, Toni Morrison noted that the intersection between women s freedom and movements for civil rights and black power was not without its tensions. Black women feel about Women’s Liberation – what are they, as we know? Distrust It is white therefore suspicious,” wrote she. The way in which history has documented the contributions of activists speaks volumes about who has had the power to shape the narrative for generations to come. But as depicted in another version of the movement in the past year, the FX on Hulu series Mrs. America, these differences often strengthened the movement and to ignore them is to do a disservice to history.
Dorothy Pitman Hughes
In 1966, a working mother called Dorothy Pitman Hughes could not find childcare in her neighborhood on the West side of Manhattan. So she charged all families, no matter their income, the same five weekly per child rate. The author of the forthcoming and first autobiography by Pitman Hughes With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the transformative power of Black Community Activism tells TIME, it was really important that children be accessible to everyone and not just at the poor end. A few years later, the center was East 80th Street Community Child Day Care Center.
Beyond the services it provided for children, the center also offered other resources to further support the community, including employment training and housing assistance. Pitman Hughes demonstrated the intersections between child welfare and kinesiology through advocacy and community organizing—and why they were so vital to the movement of women. Steinem interviewed Pitman Hughes for a piece she was writing for New York Magazine in 1969 and soon became talking partners. They traveled the country together for five years.
Julianne Moore as Gloria Steinem and Janelle Monáe as Dorothy Pitman Hughes in ”The Glorias”
Dan McFadden is the next Gen 4 Dan McFadden
Rosett says that Gladia was afraid to speak and Dorothy was afraid to fly. So Gloria would hold her hand on the plane and Dorothy would hold her hand when they reached the stage. Dorothy is the much more well known activist at the time Gloria begins to speak.“ They were — the now iconic picture shows the two women raising their fists in the air. It is that image, Lovett explains, that helped spur Steinem on in the mainstream media at the time. Typically, Steinem would speak first whereas Pitman Hughes would speak second, according to Lovett, during their speaking tour. But, Lovett says, “the coverage is on Steinem, the press is obsessed with her,”
Astrid Stawiarz — Getty Images — 2014
Pitman Hughes, who is in her late 80s and now in her mid-90s, continued to work as a grassroots organizer on issues that are important to her community. When she moved to Harlem, she saw the need for a copycenter and decided to open one herself. By doing so, she became an advocate for black businesses and provided Harlem with a place where political organizers could send flyers. Her work, which was so deeply rooted in community, helped to show how economic issues such as childcare and welfare needed to be at the forefront of the women’s movement.
Worker leader Dolores Huerta has demonstrated the impact of grassroots organizing on civil rights movements since the 1960s. The activist founded the National Farm Workers Association together with Cesar Chavez — though the opposing one — in an effort to provide better working conditions for farmworkers and illuminate the economic injustices that they faced.
Huerta played a crucial role in 1965 when a grape worker’s strike led to a nationwide boycott. The boycott would take her to connect with Steinem in New York City. It was Steinem who led A&P’s heir Huntington Hartford to protest A&P in support of the farm workers. Glorias depict a moment when Steinem and Huerta both stand together opposite Pitman Hughes in front of an A&P store. Huerta chants there “S se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, we can”), a slogan she invented and one that eventually became.
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Huerta and Steinem saw when they worked together how interwoven the worker rights and women’s movements were. Ai-jen Poo compared Huerta to TIME’s 100 Women of the Year story. Huerta insisted that women had an equal voice in the workplace and on the unions, elevated low-wage workers in the women’s movement and mentored young female activists in the country.
In 2011, President Obama Huerta toured the American Memorial Medal of Freedom. Now 90 years old, she continues to be an active part of the labor movement through her work at the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which organizes communities and empowers leaders in them to fight for social justice. In June, amid the protests around the country that resulted in the death of George Floyd, Huerta spoke to TIME about how to sustain a movement and described how she encouraged her grandchildren to protest. Huerta said: “I mean this is like a punishment for me not to be out there.” I just want to bless and thank all the protesters.
Florynce Kennedy Kennedy was Flo Kennedy
In the end, Kennedy plied into political activism and became a staunch advocate for civil rights matters. In 1969, she began working to challenge the New York state abortion law, which led the state to liberalize abortion the following year. Kennedy incorporated a deep understanding of how racism affects every aspect of society into her work — a foundation principle that she brought to the movement of women. In 1971, Kennedy founded the Feminist Party, which then nominated Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm for the presidency.
Getty Images — 2014 Barbara Alper
Sherie Randolph is an associate professor of history at Georgia Institute of Technology and author of Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical, who spoke to TIME about Kennedys central role in the 1960s women’s movement. Flo says that there was a Black Power movement that Black people should be involved in and that was intersectional. The women’s movement needed to do a better job of being anti-racist, and Gloria Steinem had an eye for that.
Kennedy Kennedy became her spokeswoman nearly 20 years before Steinem. Kennedy, an energetic speaker known for her humor and cowboy hats, addressed audiences around the country about racism and sexism. Randolph says that during this time, Kennedys mentorship of Steinem shows how essential it was for the movement to be intersectional. Kennedy has introduced Steinem to people in her circles who have helped to widen her perspective on a range of intersectional issues, according to Randolph.
Although Kennedy was in the centre of the women’s movement, Kennedy has not been so widely recognized for her work. “Fortunately, we now live in a different moment where you must acknowledge more Black women and their influence on predominantly white feminists,” Randolph says. They were not just an antagonistic force — they were also a force propelling questions. And that is what Flo helps to come to.
Wilma Mankiller died on Monday.
When she was a child Wilma Mankiller and her family were moved from Oklahoma to San Francisco as part of the bureau of Indian Affairs relocation program. It was there that Mankiller became a participant in the 1960s civil rights and women’s movements – who faced the twin challenges of discrimination and poverty. She returned to Oklahoma in 1977 and carried with her what she learned from that time — to fight for indigenous rights and gender equality.
In 1985 she became the first woman elected president of Cherokee Nation. Mankiller gives a speech in Gloria on the day of her election. Cherokee, we consult our women elders on every important decision, but we never had a female chief as democratically elected,” exclaims she. Mankiller and Steinem met when Mankiller joined the Board of Directors of the Ms. Foundation for Women of Steinem, the nonprofit organization that was founded by the New American Woman. They became political allies and formed a deep and long lasting friendship. In 2010 Steinem wrote for TIME : “Her success in achieving economic autonomy for her people made her a symbol of hope for original cultures and movement of women around the world,”
The Washington Post via Getty Im — 2010 The Washington Post
In the early 1980s, before she obtained elected office within the Cherokee Nation, Mankiller demonstrated her skills as a leader and organizer during the Bell Water Project and helped to bring a reliable water distribution system to the small Oklahoma city populated largely by Cherokee citizens. She was integral to the project and it brought her to broader attention in terms of Cherokee Nation politics because people saw that she is someone who gets things done, says Candessa Tehee of the Northeastern State University. “She has such a rich legacy, particularly in terms of her continued efforts for the guarantee of tribal sovereignty, the fight for indigenous rights, feminism and education.”
Shirley Chisholm & Co.
While there is not a particular character in The Glorias depicting Shirley Chisholm, there is a character with a small role named Shirley, which was mentioned by the filmmakers as an honor to the politician. But Chisholm’s participation in the movement as an activist, politician and grassroots organizer is so significant that it is here incorporated.
In 1968, Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the US Congress. Four years later, she became the first black woman in a major party to run for president in 2014. The Shirley Chisholm Project on Brooklyn Women’s Activism at Brooklyn College says that she never saw her achievement as a first.’ She saw it in many ways as a way to provide more opportunities to women of color and Black women — specifically for elected offices.
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As a congressionalwoman, Chisholm was never the kind of politician to sacrifice her ideals to advance politically. “Her true political genius is the importance of being what she would consider to be ‘unbought and unbossed’ and really not restricting herself to engaging in politics that were just for compromise amenable”, says Fraser. She sees Chisholm’s bold tactics in the new guard of Congress women of color, sometimes called the „quad », who, despite their freshmen status and lack of capital, go head to head with established politicians. Fraser added: “When Chisholm emerges during that time period she creates an atmosphere specially for young, marginalized people to align themselves against institutions and structures of power”
In 1971, Chisholm established the National Women’s Political Caucus along with Steinem, Dorothy Height, Bella Abzug and others. Fraser comments in reflection on Chisholm’s influence on people like Steinem that it was her analysis of policies and her ability to highlight the everyday issues that impacted women Fraser says that once the term was coined, the study had a greater understanding of what intersectionality was. She had a nuanced perspective on politics and the ways in which feminism needs to speak to a multi-racial and multigenerational coalition.
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