Sunday, October 18, 2009

28. When Everything Changed

Dear Followers,

Back on September 6th, I blogged about one of my favorite writers (Gail Collins) and one of my favorite books ("America's Women"), which discussed the contributions that women had made during our country's 400 year evolution.

I'm happy to share with you the good news that Ms. Collins now has a new book that traces " The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present.

In addition to her books, Collins was the first female head of The NY Times editorial board and (Chapter Two: An Early Sense of Direction) she always knew she wanted to be a writer. She ran the newspaper at her Catholic all girls school, earned a degree in journalism (from Marquette University) in 1967 and a master's in government from the University of Massachusetts in 1971. Before joining The NY Times, she worked for UPI, The NY Daily News and New York Newsday.

In Collins' new book she reminds readers of what life was like for women after World War II, and it's not a pretty picture. In her words "...women were not meant to compete with men, to act independently of men, to earn their own bread, or to have adventures on their own....They could not go into business without their husbands' permission or get credit without male cosigners."

Women under the age of thirty will probably find the information in Collins' book hard to believe, but they need to read her words and respect her research. It was an era when Black women were marginalized by organizers at Martin Luther King's 1963 "I have a dream" speech, and even Rosa Parks was overlooked at a gathering in Montgomery, Alabama. Those of us who have reaped the benefits of the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission can't help but be surprised to learn that women were added, according to Representative Howard Smith of Virginia, as " a joke" to help block the Civil Rights Act.

Looking forward to your comments...

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