That History Day Guy

September 10, 2007

Its Cokie not Cookie….

Filed under: Uncategorized — historydayguy @ 6:05 pm

So this past week I spent a scintillating week in the South’s greatest city for traffic Jams: HotLanta. We were there for the 2007  conference. Got to see many of our History Day buddies including Kathy “Rock Star” Gorn, and “Hey look at my bottom line! Tim Hoogland. Always great to see them.

Among things like grits at the Mary Mac Tea Room, the MLK Center and rides on the Marta, we were fortunate to hear from uber journalist Cokie Roberts. She discussed many things including her book: Our Mother’s Daughters.

This is a book celebrating the roles women have taken historically and serve as a call to action for women everywhere. Ms. Roberts discussed the need to connect young women to a love of history. In History Day it seems we are doing this. Just take a look at our Medal winners and participants. Their numbers are easily over 50% of our national programs.

While the ladies make up most of the ranks of our HD roles, I think Ms. Roberts book would be a great place for young women to look for topics. What better areas to explore than the important roles women have plyed and continue to play in our lives.

Also important is to look for the appropriate perspectives: young women need to read history written by women. I have two young daughters. I know the realities of our world. I am just old enough to remember my sister marching on Washington Demanding Equal Rights and not receiving them.

Ladies here is what is being kept by you from 3 states, and what has not been ratified by 15 states in AMERICA!

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

I myself would feel better if this was written in our constitution. I know the realities of my wife making less than her male counterparts. Look at the Flak that continues over female candidates for office. Turn to 3 random pages in your history book and see if you can find a reference to a woman.

Name 5 of our founding mothers.

My point here is that we should at all times encourage an expanded notion of what history is and what important history is. Women’s history extends beyond Anne Frank, The Triangle Shirt Waist tragedy,Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks. Young female historians should be directed to people they can find in their towns and cities. They should uncover the unsung persons that are all too often overlooked by a patriarchal society that records it’s history from an almost exclusive point of view. Ms. Roberts book is a great tool to help them start this search!


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