Friday, March 3, 2017

Women In American History

During the month of February AGIGer, OneMoreDoll, hosted an amazing giveaway! The prize? A DoC of your choice. The contest? To feature amazing women in American History through doll photography. What a neat challenge, right? You could enter as many times as you wanted too as long as each entry depicted another historical woman. Pffffft! Count me in!

There were hundreds of entries, and I would not have wanted to be on the panel of judges narrowing them down to a top ten, much less the person picking the winner out of those 10! Reading through the entries was so much fun, and also extremely educational. You can still see them by looking up #onemoredollgiveaway2 on Instagram. I recommend it if you have some time! 

In the end, abbydollss won with her photograph honoring Depression era photographer Dorothea Lang , and theluxdoll came in second with her depiction of Katherine Johnson and won a $50 gift card to American Girl. I had so much fun participating in the contest and decided I wanted to share my photographs here on the blog too. There are a ton of contests on Instagram, but I haven't seen one yet that competes with this one. Thank you again to OneMoreDoll for hosting with a theme that gave me, and obviously others, so much creative inspiration! (I'm just going to copy what I posted on Instagram under each picture. I hope you enjoy!)

Raven Wilkinson broke the color barrier in 1955 as the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company. Wilkinson is mentor to modern day dancer, Misty Copeland, and the reason that little girls like Gabriela can dream of dancing with professional dance companies one day too.

Ilhan Omar is notable in history for being the first Somali-American legislator in the United States. Born in Somalia in 1982, Ilhan's family fled the country's civil war in 1991, spending 4 years in a refugee camp in Kenya. In 1995 her family emigrated to the United States where Ilhan discovered her love of politics and democracy. In November 2016 she became not only the first Somali-American, but the first female Muslim to be elected to public office, and she is currently serving on the Minnesota House of Representatives. 

Another entry for @onemoredoll's contest is Agent 355. Agent 355 was the code name for one of our country's first spies, a female member of the Culper Ring during America's Revolutionary War. To this day her real identity is unknown, though there are several theories among historians. It is believed that she lived in New York City and that she had the advantage of connection, either through elevated social status or as a slave/maid, to important members of the British military. She is believed by many to be the agent who revealed the traitor, Benedict Arnold, to General Washington. Her information was a critical part of helping to win the war and create our nation. 

Mildred Jeter Loving and her husband Richard successfully defeated Virginia's ban on interracial marriage in 1967 in a Supreme Court ruling that ended up having nationwide implications. Mildred was jailed in her home state of Virginia, while pregnant, simply for marrying the man she loved. The couple was then banned from the state, their family, their friends, and their home until they decided to fight back through the United States Supreme Court. As a result of their case, not only were Virginia's laws overturned, but laws against interracial marriage were deemed unconstitutional anywhere in the US. 

Today I am featuring Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, for @onemoredoll's Women From American History Contest! Sally was the first American women in space (the third woman in space over all) in 1983. Since Sally "shattered the atmospheric glass ceiling" more than 40 little girls have lived their dream of going up into space with NASA. Ride was also the youngest astronaut to travel to space, having gone up at only 32. She co-wrote 7 children's books encouraging a love for space, and dedicated her life to space and physics. Though she kept her personal life extremely private, Sally was also the first known LGBT astronaut. 

Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist who revolutionized literature with her classic, Little Women. She was one of the first authors for the young adult genre in the States. She was also an abolitionist and a feminist before, during, and after the Civil War period of our country. She served as a nurse for a brief period during the Civil War, becoming deathly ill with typhoid fever in the process, which forced her to stop early. Her experiences led her to write Hospital Sketches, which brought about her first critical recognition for her writing. Her best knows work, Little Women, was considered one of "the very best of books to reach the hearts of the young of any age from six to sixty." and still enjoys incredible popularity today. Alcott was part of a group of female authors during the "Gilded Age" who addressed women's issues and brought them to the forefront of society. (Little Women also happens to be one of my personal favorites.)

Nina Simone, 6th child of a North Carolina Preacher, aspired to be a concert pianist. She began playing the piano at 3, and at 12 had her concert debut, During this performance her parents were made to move to the back of the hall to accommodate white concert goers. Young Nina refused to play until her parents were moved back to the front, an incident that she credited with her later Civil Rights activism. She enrolled, and was accepted, in the famed Juilliard School of Music, but was denied a scholarship at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, a denial that Nina believed was because of the color of her skin. She openly addressed the racial inequalities of America in her music, though she would later talk about how her activism hurt her career. All together she recorded over 40 albums in her lifetime, and was a much needed voice for Civil Rights in both the music industry and beyond.


Gabby heard about @onemoredoll's Women of American History Contest and wanted to submit a poem she'd been working on about Mary Dee Dudley, the first female African American disk jockey in the United States!

The Incomparable Mary Dee. 

Changing the world of radio forever. 

She took the mic in 1948 and shattered glass ceilings. 

The ceilings telling her that she couldn't, that she wouldn't, because of the color of her skin, the womb that lived within, that she couldn't be Mary Dee. 

Radio celebrity. 

But she did.
In August she began "Movin' Around", Changing the sound through WHOD. 

She had a voice and she used it. 

In a time when others wanted her to sit down and just be, to stop talking about what they didn't want to see, she ran "Studio Dee", the incomparable Mary Dee, first female African American disk jockey.

-Gabriela McBride

Okay, so I know that the rules State a woman in American history, but I think it could be argued that this woman has revolutionized children's literature worldwide, including the tremendous effect she's had in the US. That's right boys and girls, wizards and muggles, I'm speaking of none other than J.K. Rowling! JK Rowling is not only one of the most successful authors of all time (her last 4 Harry Potter books were the fastest selling books in history), but is an incredible champion for several international charities. She's given millions of dollars over the course of her career, and has written several books that were 100% for different charities, including those that she has founded herself benefiting children and social causes. "I think you have a moral responsibility, when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.” 

My second to last submission for @onemoredoll's contest is Edmonia Lewis, the first woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve international recognition as a sculptor. Many of her themes revolved around the black and indigenous peoples of the Americas. One of her best known works, The Death of Cleopatra, was featured at the very first World's Fair in the US in Philadelphia in 1876.

My final entry for @onemoredoll's giveaway is the amazing Ruby Bridges! At only 6 years old Ruby became the first child to desegregate an all white school in Louisiana. Every day, escorted by US Marshalls for her safety, Ruby walked through a wall of white hate while people held up signs, shouted horrible things, and threw objects. When she finally arrived at school she spent several months being taught alone, by one of the only teachers who would teach her, because so many parents had pulled their children out in protest. Despite the hatred that was, literally, thrown at her one of the marshals who escorted her later spoke of how tiny Ruby never cried, or even made a whimper. "We were all very proud of her." Young Ruby even daily prayed for those who hated her and what she represented so vehemently. 

~Mrs. D

1 comment:

  1. I simply loved reading this post. Thank you for all of your hard work in putting this together. The women you've chosen are excellent choices and your settings are wonderful. Now THIS is something on the internet that I can share with my almost 8 year old!