Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin’s name has become a footnote in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, superseded by that of Rosa Parks – who was made famous for doing exactly what Claudette had done months before.

Claudette Colvin was born in 1939 and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama – the city which would later become famous for the bus boycott which many consider to be the start of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Continue reading Claudette Colvin

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Women’s Equality Party Policy Launch

I was honoured to be invited to speak this week at the policy launch in Birmingham for the Women’s Equality Party. I made sure to namecheck a bevvy of wonderful Sheroes! Below is a transcript of my speech (with hyperlinks added for further info.)

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“When I was first asked to give a short talk this evening and share the stories of  some inspiring Sheroes of history many women came to mind. Should I talk about a woman who rallied for social change, as we are attempting to do, like Emmeline Pankhurst or Margaret Bondfield? Or maybe I should speak about a great historical female leader like Boudica or Cleopatra?

Continue reading Women’s Equality Party Policy Launch

Muriel Matters – Suffragette Shero

Muriel Matters was an actor & suffragist who became known for her daring stunts in the campaign for votes for women. She was born in South Australia 1877 and was the third oldest of 10 children. She studied Music at the University of Adelaide.

in 1894, when Muriel was a young woman, the colony of South Australia became the first self-governing territory to give women equal franchise on the same terms as men; young women like Muriel could not only vote at state elections but could also nominate for a seat in Parliament. Continue reading Muriel Matters – Suffragette Shero

Mary Lindell Part 1

Born on 11th September 1895, Mary Ghita Lindell was on course to live an intriguing life. She was nearly 19 when the Great War broke out and her father said ‘The honour of Great Britain is saved. We are now at war with Germany. Mary you will have to go.’

So Mary Lindell, as expected, enlisted in the Red Cross’s Volunteer Aid Detachment. While with the VAD she had her first run in with hierarchy; this would lead to her being imprisoned for one night in a stable block, taking the form of two altercations with the same Matron. One day VAD Lindell had the unenviable task of  Continue reading Mary Lindell Part 1

Kate F. O’Connor

Kate F. O’Connor was born in Rockford, Illinois June 1, 1863 to Irish immigrants. She was the youngest of 8 children and not much is known of her younger life. After graduating from high school, Kate studied drawing and painting for a short while. After temping in the County Clerk’s office, in 1882 she was appointed deputy to the County Clerk.

Continue reading Kate F. O’Connor

Memphis Minnie – “Queen of the Country Blues”

Memphis Minnie became known as ‘the queen of country blues’ for her amazing talent as a blues guitarist, singer & songwriter, who made waves amongst the mainly male-dominated blues scene of the 1930s.

Her real name was Lizzie Douglas, and she was born in 1897 in Mississippi, just south of Memphis. The oldest of 13 children, everyone in her large family called her ‘Kid’. She developed a love for music at a young age, taking up the banjo and receiving her first guitar at the age of 8 as a Christmas present.

Continue reading Memphis Minnie – “Queen of the Country Blues”