Though we want women’s contributions recognized every day of the year, by celebrating Women’s History Month, we choose to challenge the status quo by incorporating the strides made by women- historically and contemporarily. Historically women have been silenced simply because their voice was not valued in society. As we are all well aware, that was a backward way of thinking. But remnants of this thought process are still alive and well today and manifest in the systems that keep women and other historically disparaged groups at a disadvantage.
As we celebrate women, our celebration must be intersectional. Intersectionality is a term created by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw over 30 years ago to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap to reveal how people experience inequities and oppression present in our society. Women’s history has always been about intersections of gender, class, and race.
I wanted to take a quick moment to highlight a figure in women’s history whose story is both compelling and inspiring–and is still breaking barriers today. New Mexico’s Representative Deb Haaland is one of the first two Native American women to be elected to the U.S. Congress. As she is also President Biden’s pick for Secretary of the Interior, once confirmed she will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. What resonated with me was the fact that Congresswoman Haaland made all these strides, from her obtaining her education to becoming a politician, all while raising her daughter. Some of the finer details of her story are detailed on the “About” page of her state representative website linked here, and I encourage you to check it out: https://haaland.house.gov/about
I challenge every family to take the time to read about women game-changers like Representative Haaland. Below is a shortlist of books I find consequential to Women’s History Month
Elementary & Middle School
Middle & High School
Many stories written by pioneering women authors are available online (both as PDF’s and as audiobooks) for free. These classics* are in audiobook format:
More books by and about women and their contributions to society:
This post was written by Alexandria Coleman, an English major at Florida A&M University.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.