Archive for the ‘All News’ Category

#Throwback Thursday: Ma Rainey and the blues

October 24th, 2013

By: Emily McAfee, NWHM Intern

Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, 1917

In the early 20th Century, the American working and middle classes began searching for modes of self-identification beyond their occupations, and a burgeoning mass entertainment industry set an example for how to fill this identity void. Performers—of different genders and various races—publicly enacted the identities they wanted, as opposed to the identities they had been given. This new entertainment culture was platform upon which all kinds of Americans reinvented the parameters of their self-expression and reclaimed (if only briefly) ownership of their public identities. A brilliant example of this phenomenon can be found in female blues singers. During its heyday in the 1920s, the blues were a forum in which black women could seize control of their public identity and redefine it on their own terms.

A powerful figure in this movement was Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, one of the earliest professional female blues singers—and one of the first to record. She was known for her deep, raspy voice, and the incredible impression she would make before she even began to sing. Blues women like Ma Rainey seized ownership over the freedom of the black female body: to travel, to be public, to love and lust. These themes—of freedom, mobility, and sexuality, are prominent in Ma Rainey’s blues.

Mobility
During the early 20th Century, the movement of African-Americans to urban spaces in the North was a massive demographic shift that redefined part of the African-American experience. This change was reflected in the blues genre, as women like Ma Rainey sang representations of black displacement and the liberating aspects of a newfound mobility. Female blues singers stressed the different experiences of black men and women, not only in migration, but also in domestic spaces, and in life more generally.
Notable songs: “Traveling Blues,” “Runaway Blues,” and “Lost Wandering Blues”

Join NWHM and GWU for our forum “Making a Business of Change: American Women in Business” on Nov. 12th

October 23rd, 2013

Click the image below to purchase tickets!

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President Obama Nominates the very first Native American Woman For Federal Judge

October 22nd, 2013

Click here for the original story.

Diane J. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe and former U.S. attorney in Arizona, has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the district of Arizona as a federal judge. If confirmed, she would be the first active member of a Native American reservation, and first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge. Not only would this bring more diversity to the federal bench, but Arizona’s prominent Native community will finally be represented in a state that is infamous for ignoring Native issues.

This is a big deal because she is a Native woman from the same Arizona that has become a police state through its insistence on criminalizing communities of color, deportations, and via renegade leaders like Sheriff Arpaio. Arizona is swiftly becoming a state known for its extreme racial profiling regarding folks who look “brown.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) lobbied for Humetewa’s nomination and has been her supportor since he nominated her for the federal bench in 2007. This strange relationship between a Republican senator and an indigenous attorney will certainly give Humetewa the advantage when the decision is in the hands of Republican senators. In Obama’s first term he nominated Arvo Mikkanen of the Kiowa Tribe, but Republicans blocked the nomination.

Humetewa’s nomination could also mean longstanding political issues Native women experience such as the Violence Against Women Act will finally get their day in court.

Native American governing bodies notwithstanding, only 23 Native Americans have served in an elected office in the history of the United States. Yet, there are 5.2 million Native Americans living in the United States. Humetewa would only be the third Native American represented on the federal bench in the history of the United States if she is confirmed.
Due to the violent history between the United States and Native communities, Native Americans continue to fight for resources such as land, water, and mineral rights that have been destroyed and removed from us. Humetewa’s nomination could mean huge strides in fair Native representation and legislation that might be able to pave the road toward full equality and justice for all Native people.

#FoodieFriday: Women’s Role in Breaking the Cycle of Food Insecurity

October 18th, 2013

In this week’s #FoodieFriday, we look at a video highlighting the wonderful work that Women for Women International is doing to empower women and their communities. Did you know that women play a vital role in breaking the cycle of food insecurity? Find out how in this poignant video:

Don’t forget to check in with us for next week’s #FoodieFriday.

Female Senators the Driving Force in Ending the Government Shutdown

October 17th, 2013
The Huffington Post has a really interesting article up that credits women in the Senate for driving the compromise that brought about the end of the government shutdown. Yet another example of how women have always (and continue to) shape history and our nation!Full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/shutdown-women_n_4110268.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000010

“Men Got Us Into The Shutdown, Women Got Us Out”

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said on Wednesday afternoon that their female colleagues can take most of the credit for driving the compromise that is expected to temporarily reopen the U.S. government and raise the debt ceiling before Thursday’s deadline.

“Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily from women in the Senate,” McCain said after the bipartisan deal was announced.

Pryor said that people sometimes like to joke about women in leadership, but he is a huge fan of his female colleagues after watching them negotiate. “The truth is, women in the Senate is a good thing,” he said. “We’re all just glad they allowed us to tag along so we could see how it’s done.”

Following weeks of stagnation, The New York Times reported on Monday that a bipartisan group of women senators was playing a crucial role in opening discussions between Republicans and Democrats over how to move forward and reopen the government. Out of the 14 senators on the bipartisan committee that laid the framework for the debt deal, six were women. Susan Collins (R-Maine) started the group, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) took part in negotiations.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate,” Collins told The New York Times. “Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.”

Klobuchar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that the friendships the Senate women have developed will help them work together to craft a long-term budget without the counterproductive barbs that some politicians throw at each other when they don’t agree.

“The 20 women in the Senate have formed such strong friendships of trust, even though we come from different places, that I’m very hopeful as we go forward with Patty Murray, head of the Budget Committee, Barbara Mikulski, head of Approprations,” Klobuchar said. “Those relationships are going to make a difference as we get into what matters, which is the long-term budget.”

#ThrowbackThursday: Roseanne Turns 25

October 17th, 2013

by Elissa Blattman, Project Assistant

Roseanne premiered on television on October 18, 1988 – 25 years ago tomorrow.  During its first season, it was second in the ratings behind only The Cosby Show.  By its second season, it was number one.  It spent six of its nine seasons in the top five.  Not bad for a show that told the proverbial sitcom family to shove off.

Roseanne was a groundbreaking sitcom on many levels.  It dealt with issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, birth control, teen pregnancy, drugs, racial prejudice, body image, mental illness, and family dysfunction.  It did so, sometimes for the first time in primetime, in a way that felt real and honest to many viewers.  It had two homosexual regular characters, and was the first show to promote LGBT rights, the first to feature a lesbian kiss (1994) and the first to feature a gay marriage (1995). Read the rest of this entry »

“A New Order: Change for Women in the U.S. Military”

October 16th, 2013

If you were unable to join us on Oct. 2nd for the first forum in our joint lecture series with

The George Washington University, you can view the video below:

Part II:

2013 de Pizan Photos

October 15th, 2013

The 2013 de Pizan Honors lives on! If you weren’t able to join us last Wednesday for the festivities check out these great photos below from the event.

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NWHM’s de Pizan Honors Covered by “The Hill”

October 11th, 2013

Former President Johnson’s daughter: ‘I swore I would never marry a politician’

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/328035-former-president-johnsons-daughter-i-swore-i-would-never-marry-a-politician#ixzz2hRY9J2XF
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

By Patrick Mortiere – 10/11/13 12:46 PM ET

After growing up with a president for a dad, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb wanted to make sure she would tie the knot with a decidedly non-political mate. But things don’t always go quite as planned.

“When I married this young man, I swore I would never marry a politician. And I married him for better or for worse, and that’s what I got,” the daughter of the late President Johnson told The Hill with a smile Wednesday at the National Women’s History Museum’s (NWHM) de Pizan Honors in downtown Washington.

It’s now been nearly half a century since the one-time first daughter took the plunge with former governor and Sen. Charles Robb (D-Va.). “Well, 46 years. I never thought I would be in politics again, and it wasn’t my choice, but I chose the man,” Johnson Robb, 69, said as her longtime hubby stood beside her.

Johnson Robb was on-hand at the NWHM’s third annual awards gala to honor “The Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad, singer Denyce Graves and radiologist Dr. Etta Pisano.

The NWHM has spent years pushing Congress to create a commission to designate a permanent home on the National Mall for its efforts.

While the VIP crowd gathered for the swank awards ceremony, the partial government shutdown wasn’t far from many attendees’ minds.

When asked how it felt to be back in Washington under the unusual circumstances, Rashad, a Howard University graduate replied, “It’s shut down. People are the same, you know? The people are the same.”

Photos: (top) Former Sen. Chuck Robb, Denyce Graves and her daughter, Ella Thomas-Montgomery, and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb; (below) Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Phylicia Rashad / Courtesy of Neshan H. Naltchayan

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/328035-former-president-johnsons-daughter-i-swore-i-would-never-marry-a-politician#ixzz2hRRBFD5w
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Happy International Day of the Girl from NWHM!

October 11th, 2013