The Witch of Wall Street

Hetty Green was a famously shrewd investor on Wall Street when women still had to sneak “a growler” at the back door of a saloon. Having been to enough bars in my early 20’s to witness drunken women collapsed in dark corners with their skirts up I sometimes wonder if bringing the tradition of women…

No Trophies for Effort!

What if a shadowy stranger in New York offered you $200,000 (about what $10,000 was worth in the 1890’s) to walk across America in weird clothes and with only what you could carry. Would you go? Now imagine it’s before an electric grid and fast food. The newly built railroad tracks will be your only…

Turn Your Itchy Scalp into Millions!

Sarah Breedlove was not the type to crawl up into the fetal position when tragedy struck. Sarah’s parents celebrated the birth of their first child not born into slavery–but not for long. First Sarah’s mother died. Her father remarried–and died. An orphan, Sarah went to live with her sister and her abusive husband. To escape…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

When Harriet Hanson Robinson explained to her busy (and presumably happy) single friend that she felt sorry for her  because she wasn’t married and could not  be a complete woman there was no hint of bitchiness. Harriet was a contented creature of her time. In my early feminist days I would have found this hard…

Lowell Mill Girl: A Life of Personal Responsibility

When does having a sense of group consciousness stand in the way of personal responsibility and self-actualization? “Harriet called the mill her “Alma Mater,” and felt that its “incentive to labor” and the discipline of the work were of great value. “We were taught daily habits of regularity and of industry; it was, in fact,…

Tasha Tudor Field Trip

Tasha Tudor August 28, 1915-June 18, 2008 For those of you who like quiet risk-takers and women who don’t follow the herd, here’s your lady! Tasha Tudor is my favorite inspiration because while her artwork and stories are adorably innocent and whimsical, she took her public (mostly children) and her professional life very seriously. While…

Beautiful Librarian–Ina Coolbrith

What soulful eyes! What great hair! But now I’m being shallow. Ina was so much more than her looks. Her poetry career held much promise, but she put her family first when illness struck. Someone once said that their family lived off of Ina’s poetry to which she replied, “How nice. That’s more than I…

A Black Model

A BLACK MODEL WHO GRACED THE ART OF 19th CENTURY FRANCE

No Taxation without Representation!

“Lady Godiva, was an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend dating back at least to the 13th century, rode naked – only covered in her long hair – through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The name “Peeping…