Do you know these women?

Most people have heard the term “suffragette,” and Susan B. Anthony’s name is synonymous with women’s rights, but do you know Mrs. Pankhurst? Alice Paul? Over the next months, I plan to introduce you to many of the heroes in the fight for Women’s Rights, and not all of them are women!

If you have suggestions for other Women’s History topics, please share them with me. It’s my hope that this blog will provide our GHC community with an online venue to expand on the exploration of Women’s History happening in our on-campus events.

-Michelle Abbott, Associate Professor of English, GHC

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Image: WSPU leaders, Annie Kenney (left) and Christabel Pankhurst

2 thoughts on “Do you know these women?

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    By Maya Angelou

    “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I’m telling lies.
    I say,
    It’s in the reach of my arms,
    The span of my hips,   
    The stride of my step,   
    The curl of my lips.   
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenal woman,   
    That’s me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,   
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knees.   
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.   
    I say,
    It’s the fire in my eyes,   
    And the flash of my teeth,   
    The swing in my waist,   
    And the joy in my feet.   
    I’m a woman

    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Men themselves have wondered   
    What they see in me.
    They try so much
    But they can’t touch
    My inner mystery.
    When I try to show them,   
    They say they still can’t see.   
    I say,
    It’s in the arch of my back,   
    The sun of my smile,
    The ride of my breasts,
    The grace of my style.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head’s not bowed.   
    I don’t shout or jump about
    Or have to talk real loud.   
    When you see me passing,
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It’s in the click of my heels,   
    The bend of my hair,   
    the palm of my hand,   
    The need for my care.   
    ’Cause I’m a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.”

    The late and great Maya Angelou is my FAVORITE author. I love her and work dearly. She exemplified Feminism to the fullest. This poem speaks to me as a black woman, but I’m very certain that any women of any race can relate to this poem. I hope you all enjoy this poem.


  2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

    Ellen is the world’s first elected Black female President and Africa’s first female Head of State. During her campaign for Presidency, she vowed to boost Liberia’s economy and get rid of the corruption and civil war plaguing the country. Liberia’s President also spoke out against Charles Taylor’s brutal regime of violence and worked towards getting him extradited in 2006. In 2011 she shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

    I have never heard of this woman until now, but the things that she has accomplished throughout her life is absolutely remarkable. If you don’t know about her, definitely go and look at her achievements. (Erica A. Ford)


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