March is Women’s History Month. Of course, your Prairie State College Library has a variety of books concerning women’s history. The library also carries many books about women of today–their stories, concerns, and the events that will be part of women’s history in the future.
Here are just a few examples of what the library has to offer on the subject. These titles and others can be found on the bookcase just outside the Prairie State College Library classroom.
March is a month beaming with historical pride and cultural celebrations . Not only have we come to accept it as the gateway to a new season, but as the birthing of “new” day. Born are not just the leaves and the flowers, but the American spirit that has been forged by the great works of those throughout history. This includes the works of phenomenal women who have become pioneers and leaders in fields that were once dominated by men. Their works have become a launching pad for future generations to soar into new heights. During the month of March, we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments:
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.
1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony organize the National Woman Suffrage Association to fight for women’s rights, especially the right to vote. More than a century later, Anthony was honored when the U.S. Mint created a coin using her image.
1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode, who owned a furniture store in Chicago, intended the bed to be used in apartments.
1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1970 Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
1981 Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice.
1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
2005 Hillary Clinton becomes the first First Lady to be elected to public office. She joins Congress as a U.S. Senator from New York.
2009 Sonia Sotomayor is nominated as the 111th U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic American and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s top court.
For more information on famous women in history, stop by PSC Library and check out some of the titles that we have on display:
March is Women’s History Month and so we have a variety of books about women who have played a major role in history on display at the PSC Library. Check out Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui by Deborah Scroggins to learn the story of two women on opposite sides of Islam. Hirsi Ali was raised as a Muslim in Africa, but eventually broke away from her faith and sought asylum in Europe. She has since been very outspoken in her belief that there should be a war against Islam and has gained worldwide notoriety for her actions speaking out against what she sees as Islam’s “backward” practices. Siddiqui was raised in Pakistan, but spent several years in the United States pursuing her education in neuroscience. She left the U.S. after she came under suspicion for her ties to al-Queda and was eventually captured in Pakistan in 2008 with information on how to make explosive, chemical, and biological weapons and several other items linking her to terrorism. She is now serving an 86 year sentence in a federal prison. Scroggins digs deeper into the stories of these two women to tell the story of how the subjugation of women has played a central role in radical Islam.
Another title on display is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, our One Book, One Community read this year. The cells Lacks unknowingly donated years ago have aided medical research in numerous ways. We have several copies of the book available, so come in and check one out and then join in the community discussion during the events we have planned in April, including a visit from Henrietta’s son David on April 24.
You can also check out any of the books below from the PSC Library to learn more about important women in history.
March is Women’s History Month and here at the Prairie State Library we’re celebrating with a display of wonderful books by and about women and their history. One book that really sums up what this month celebrates is A Day in the Life of the American Woman: How We See Ourselves by Sharon Wohlmuth. This book tells the story of women across the country on the same day, illustrated with lots of gorgeous photos. We see mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers; police officers and ex-cons; musicians, farmers, doctors, and women from all walks of life showing what it’s like to be a woman in America.
For a more historical perspective, check out any of the other books we have on display at the the Prairie State College Library.
Black history month is a momentous occasion where as a nation we can extol the recondite achievements and history of black Americans. Some may wonder why there is a whole month dedicated to black history. Some may wonder why we celebrate black history separately from U.S. history. The reason is: because of the discriminatory practices that have kept black history, womens’ history, and GLBT history out of the main stream media and history books. However, just like with womens’ and GLBT history, mainstream America is now embracing and celebrating these historical achievements and so are we at PSC Library! This year for black history month we have a display laden with information about all black towns. In addition we have colorful pictures, of great quality, that lets one see the history in a more personal way. Also we have four great new books that we’ve added for black history month. These books are all on the subject of all black towns. Some of those titles are Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism; and Acres of Aspiration: The All Black Towns In Oklahoma. Sun Down towns, written by James W. Loewen, is a powerful read that reveals the nature of black life in America. It shows why blacks had to build their own towns and the brutality they endured in the towns where they did not belong. Acres of Inspiration, written by Hannibal B. Johnson, shows a world foreign and unheard of to many. A place where blacks created over fifty all black towns and where it was, at one point, thought that blacks may even create there own state. Come check out these books and our display on all black towns.
Check out the NEW BOOKS DISPLAY in the library for titles that have recently been added to our collection. Featured this month is Elna Baker’s memoir The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, where the author charmingly recounts the challenges of being an abstinent Mormon in New York City. As Baker goes through a dramatic metamorphosis (she loses 80 pounds and finds herself suddenly hot) she struggles to balance her religious beliefs with her search for romance in the Big Apple. Through it all, her sense of humor carries the day, making this one story you won’t want to put down.
You can find The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance and any of the titles below on the NEW BOOK DISPLAY.
Fun Home is another graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel. Bechdel grew up in a funeral home, from which the book takes its title, in the small town of Beech Creek, Pennsylvania. The autobiography primarily focuses on Bechdel’s coming out and her relationship with her closeted father. However, the book is about her father’s life as much as her own. The catalyst is her father’s “maybe” suicide, which takes place a few months after she comes out to her parents.
Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel, originally published in France in four parts. The entire set has been translated into English and collected here in one complete volume.
Persepolis takes place in the years during and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Marjane’s upper-middle class parents are involved in the communist movement and are at odds with the new Islamic Fundamentalist regime. Brought up with her parents ideals, and chafing under the new repressive laws, Marjane becomes dangerously outspoken and rebellious. Fearing for her safety as she enters adolescence, her parents send her away to Austria for her high school years.