Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Born Shirley Jane Temple in 1928 in Santa Monica, California. She was commonly known as a child star of the 30's. Her curly blond ringlet hair, singing voice, tap dance abilities, and noticeable lisp were just a few factors that made her a famous child star of the decade. Many people say she was the most sophisticated performer they have ever seen, some even saying she was more mature than many of the adults she worked with on set.
Where has she been Seen?
Shirley Temple became well-known in 1934 when she starred in four separate films that year; Little Miss Marker, Baby Take a Bow, Now and Forever, and Bright Eyes. At this time Shirley Temple was only six years old and was even awarded an Academy Award that was quoted, "in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution." Her popularity peaked from 1935-1938 where she was named the "biggest box-office attraction in Hollywood." Being only ten years old, these achievements were massive.
Little Girl Growing Up:
When Shirley was just 17 years old she married her first husband John Agar, who eventually could not cope with being "Mr. Shirley Temple." He quickly turned into an alcoholic when he could not deal with the consequences of being married to a child star. They divorced when Shirley was just 21 years old. Soon after her divorce, she met Mr. Charles Black on a Hawaiian vacation, who had never seen any of her films, and did not even know she was a famous child star. They married shortly after returning home and were lovers from the very start. She stated, "from the very first time I saw him, I knew he was perfect for me."
In 1967, Shirley Temple Black ran for the United States Congress on a platform of urging more American involvement in the Vietnam war. Her debate was good but she did not win the election. Although she lost the election, she was still determined to somehow make a difference. She attributed to some political cartoons and still remained active in Republican politics. Shirley Temple Black began serving as a United States Representative. She was even an ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She was always proud and determined to make a difference in her work as a U.S. Representative doing whatever she could to help.
A quote she once stated says "Shirley Temple doesn't hurt Shirley Temple Black. Shirley Temple helps Shirley Temple Black." Regardless of who she was in the past, she wanted everyone to realize she was way more than just a child star of the 1930's, but she could also make a difference in her political life as well. She was a woman of great drive and determination. From her famous child star days until her proud United States Representative days, she has always remained an influential icon of America known first for her curly ringlet hair and last for her government achievements.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Helen Keller was born a healthy baby girl in Tuscumbia, Alabama in the late 1800’s. She came from a family descending of colonial governors and prominent New England families such as the Hales, Everetts, and Adamses. She was guaranteed a life full of success and following in her family’s footsteps.
Around 19 months old Helen Keller became severely ill with something the doctors called brain fever, more likely known as scarlet fever, leaving her deaf and blind before she even knew how to speak to the outside world. This awful tragedy left her to be a wild child who was quite the hell raiser. Nobody knew how to tame this little girl, especially since she could not see or hear anyone to learn discipline and respect.
A New Life:
In March of 1887, when Helen Keller was just shy of seven years old, a woman came to be her new teacher. Anne Sullivan was a graduate from Perkins School for the Blind who had regained her own sight after several extensive operations. She had a rare understanding of Helen and knew how it felt to not be able to communicate with others. Taming this child would be a miracle all on its own, and that is exactly what Miss Sullivan was there to do.
The “Miracle Worker”:
Anne Sullivan began to teach Helen Keller in simple ways to start out. She would place an object in her hand, and then use sign language to spell the word into her hand as well. Helen caught on quickly but it was obvious that she did not fully understand what the words meant. One day Miss Sullivan took Helen to an outdoor pump and began pouring water into her hand then spelling it out afterwards. Helen suddenly realized that the wet substance in her hand meant water and was finally able to put it all together and realize what different words meant. She learned over 30 words in that single day.
Furthering her Education:
As Helen began to learn more and more she gained an understanding of how to read and write. She told Miss Sullivan that she wanted to be able to speak and to go to college too. In 1898 Helen entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies and began preparing for Radcliffe College. In 1990, she began at Radcliffe and eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1904. Without Miss Sullivan, Helen Keller would never have accomplished these goals throughout her life.
In the End:
Throughout the rest of her life, Helen received honorary doctoral degrees from Temple University and Harvard University, and also from the Universities of Glasgow, Scotland, Berlin, Germany, Delhi, India, and Witwatersrand in South Africa. Helen Keller died in 1936 with Miss Sullivan right by her side, after a lifetime full of achievements. Without Anne Sullivan, who is known as Helen Keller’s “Miracle Worker” none of her accomplishments would have ever been possible. She was forever grateful for her wonderful teacher who was full of kindness and patience. Helen Keller’s story is a miracle all on its own and just goes to show that anything can be possible with enough effort and determination.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to her unwed, teenage mother. She lived on a farm and her grandmother taught her how to read and write. She looked up to her grandmother because her grandmother was a role model for her since her mother was always working. When Oprah moved to Milwaukee with her mother, she experienced major life changing events. Her mother worked all day, leaving Oprah alone and molested by male relatives. This devastation lead her to run away from home and when she did she was sent to juvenile detention homes but was denied because of limited space. She gave birth to a son, but he died of infancy and then went to Tennessee to live with her father.
Moving in with her father was the best decision she could ever make. He gave her a new life and Oprah started to become very successful. She won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and was offered a job at a radio station, serving the African American community in Nashville. After working for the radio show she began her own talk show series and became one of the most iconic people in American history.
The Oprah Winfrey Show:
Her show began like many other talk shows, but after many years and many awards, Oprah’s show broke from the norms of the talk shows. Her show integrated spiritual values, healthy living and self-help which lead to an even bigger following. Her show also integrated many famous people and big societal issues such as gay and lesbian issues. With many different issues being discussed, Oprah became even more of a star.
Many people who do not know Oprah, don’t know what she has gone through, but the people who do know her know that she is just like other people and has suffered many hard ships. They also know that she is very well-rounded by the issues she discusses on her talk show and she tries to cover “all bases” with what issues are going on in the society. People also know she is one of the most giving and influential people in the United State’s history. She has opened many doors for people from her amazing contributions, such as the school for girls in Africa. Opening that school demonstrated Oprah’s concern for girls of color and she wanted to give them a shot of a good life and not have them go through what she had to endure.
Oprah has become one of the most iconic people in the United State’s history. She has broken many cultural norm barriers and has left her mark on the society by the work in her talk show and her contributions through out the world.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jean Mortenson (Baker) on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Marilyn’s childhood consisted of her being passed around between countless family members, family friends and orphanages. She finally found a stable home with a family friend and stayed with them for a few years. But Doc (the husband) got a new job out East and couldn’t afford to take Marilyn, leaving her again living in foster care homes. To escape the life of bouncing around from place to place, she married her boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty in 1942 at the age of 16. Dougherty was a merchant marine and was sent to the South Pacific, leaving Marilyn behind. During this time, Marilyn worked in a factory and worked to become a model and an actress. Throughout her life Marilyn became a very successful model and actress and icon for the American society. But on August 5, 1962 she died of a drug overdose at the age of 36.
Her Claim to Fame
While working in that factory, a famous photographer snapped a picture of her. The photographer visited many factories to take pictures of women at work and he was mesmerized by Marilyn’s beauty and grace. Her picture circulated through the Hollywood scene and within months her modeling career took off and she was the face of many magazine covers. She divorced her husband in 1946 and changed her name from what she called, “the boring Norma Baker” to the more glamorous Marilyn Monroe, after her grandmother. She also changed her hair color from subtle brunette, to platinum blonde. While her modeling career was in motion, so was her acting career. She began taking drama lessons and got her first movie contract with Twentieth Century Fox. While most of her first films were low key, she was getting attention and was being exposed to the atmosphere of Hollywood. With more publicity, she landed roles in films called, All About Eve, Niagara, Gentleman Prefer Blonds and How to Marry a Millionaire. Audiences loved her breathy, blonde bombshell appeal and her the acting characteristics she displayed, which lead her to more high key roles, more important roles and made her even more famous.
Her Influence on American Society
People of the American society not only noticed and loved her strong and relatable acting characteristics, they were in love with her personal appearance and personal characteristics. As Marilyn made great strides on the film screen she also made great strides in her public appearance. She became an iconic figure of Hollywood glamour and fashion and was an epitome of sensuality, beauty and effervescence, and was also naturally photogenic. She became an icon for the women in the American society of that time and today. Her modeling tactics opened up many new doors in the modeling world and many young models are using her techniques today. She was portrayed as a sex symbol of that time, which has influenced America in many different ways. Even though she was sex symbol and a little edgier than many people of America of that time, she also displayed a sense of talent and class on film and on the runway.
“A Candle in the Wind”
By: Elton John
This song was written by Elton John after Marylin Monroe had passed away from a drug overdose. In the song, Elton sings about how Marylin had a certain grace about her, and even though she experienced hardships in her childhood as well as the pressures of being in the public eye, she held herself, while many other people would not have had that same ability. He also explains that while her career was booming, it was like the public was “putting her on a treadmill” and they made her change her name. As the song continues and it comes to the chorus, he is implying that she is like “a candle in the wind,” meaning she is just barely hanging on because she has really had no one to turn to in her life and she is just barely hanging on from all the public attention and criticisms she was getting. The last aspect of Elton John’s song that was very meaningful was when he states: “your candle burned out long before, your legend ever did” and this quote holds true to today. Marilyn Monroe died way before her legend ever did, because her legend and influence on the American society and the women of America still lives on today.
Monday, October 17, 2011
A black women, who worked as a seamstress from Montgomery, Alabama and challenged women's rights as well as segregation laws in the South.
What did she do?
Rosa Parks challenged the laws of segregation two times, both with different situations involving the city bus system in which she refused to either get on the back of the bus, or refuse to give up her seat to someone else.
The First Challenge:
In 1943, Miss Parks was thrown off of a city bus because she refused to get on through the back door as black citizens were supposed to. After this incident some of the city bus drivers started refusing to let her on the buses all together. This story made headline news and citizens of Montgomery were shocked that someone would stand up for black rights, let alone, a women. Parks created a major uproar between black and white citizens of the city.
The Second Challenge:
In 1955, the bold and brave Rosa Parks was, once again, on a city bus when she refused to give up her seat to a white person, named James Blake, who just so happened to be the driver that had kicked her off of a bus 12 years prior. This stirred around the city and created a huge commotion, also making headlines in the newspapers. Many could not believe that she was acting out again against the law. How could a black women be so disrepectful to a white citizen seemed to be the most asked question. Parks sparked a major change with the black community, as well as women's rights in the city of Montgomery, Alabama challenging the laws of segregation.
What were the consequences?
Rosa Parks was arrested immediately and now faced fines that were considered breaking the segregation laws which stated, "Black Americans must vacate their seats if there are white passengers left standing." She was a strong and independent woman who was going to stand up for herself and fight for her rights in order to make the world a little less corrupt. She stated "I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free...so other people would also be free." Although the consequences were minimal, Parks did not give up.
Impact on today:
Today, Rosa Parks is known all around the world. Her bravery and efforts will forever be remembered throughout the entire United States, and especially the South. She stood up for herself, her people, and her rights in order to change the ways of the world. If it was not for Parks simply standing up to a white man on a city bus, segregation laws and women's rights may not have ever sparked a change. The newspaper records show just how shocking and impacting Rosa Parks was in the city of Montgomery, and ultimately throughout the entire South. Parks, today, is seen as an extremely brave women who refused to let the laws forbidding colored people to do certain things make a difference in her life. Although consequences were given, she handled them all and kept on with her life and fighting for her rights as a colored women.
"Each person must live their life as a model for others." -Rosa Parks
This quote just goes to show that she was not just standing up for herself, but for all of the colored citizens who were treated just as unfair as she was. She was not going to stop until something was changed. Even though most changes happened after her lifetime, she will always be a brave symbol in the past that sparked a major change with segregation.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Working Women of the 1940’s
“Rosie the Riveter”
The picture displayed above is from the 1940’s and is still seen in schools, college, universities and work places today. Many people have seen this picture, but do they actually know what it means or symbolizes?
What is the picture about?
This picture is named “Rosie the Riveter” that symbolized the millions of women of the 1940’s that took over male jobs in factories, plants and shipyards during World War II. This picture in later years was not only known as an iconic American image, but it also was in the fight to broaden women’s civil rights.
What were women doing before World War II?
Leading up to World War II, only a few women had careers, besides minorities and lower class women that did work in factories and mills already. The most popular careers among them included nursing and secretarial jobs. If women did not have a career outside the home, she had one inside. Women who worked within the home did laundry, cooked, clean and tended to her husband and children.
When World War II began, many male soldiers were called to join in the ranks of the United States military, leaving women to fill their roles in (steel) factories, shipyards and lumber mills. The government wasn’t too thrilled with having women in the workforce, but they were needed and decided it would only be temporary. Women were recruited by the government into these roles by advertisers, who showed that women that worked in this roles were glamorous and fashionable; which is also when “Rosie the Riveter” was created. Women were called to work depending on their age, race, class, martial status and number of children. But since the demand was so high for workers, the government even recruited women just graduating from high school. More than 6 million women filled male work roles and from 1940-1945 the number of women in the workforce increases from 25-36 percent. But after the war ended and the men returned home, the way of life before the men left also returned.
While women were making great strides in the work force by taking men’s positions and proving they were just as smart and strong as men, learning new skills and earning wages and benefits, they were also making great strides on the baseball field. As shown the in the film, “A League of Their Own,” women displayed their talents out on the baseball field while the men were off at war.
After men throughout the United States were being drafted to war, the game of baseball was put on hold because most of the players were off to war. But with the men off to war, this opened up a whole new world for women in the work force and on the field. At first people of America did not know what to think of women playing baseball, so in the first few games of the league, many people did not come or show any interest. But the women did not let that stop them. They showed their talents and strength out on the field for months, gaining the respect of fans and making an increased interest in women’s baseball. After the war ended many people of the United States were still interested, but in the following years the interest declined.
World War II was a horrible event that happened to the people of the United States but it was also a “foot-in-the-door” for women’s rights. During this time women displayed their strengths, smarts, talents, achievements and dedication in the workforce and on the baseball field. Even though women in the work force and on the baseball field were only temporary, it did change the road to the future.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
A woman not only known for being a first lady, but also a woman remembered for her intelligence, hard work ethic, elegant style and as an icon for American society.
Who was Jackie Kennedy?
Jackie Bouvier Kennedy was married to John Fitzgerald Kennedy and became the First Lady of the United States on January 20, 1961. Not only was she famous for being the wife of one of the most popular presidents of the United States, she was remembered for her passion of history and the arts, her work in restoring the White House, her style and fashion and her impact on the American society.
Her Passion for the History and the Arts.
One of her most famous contributions as the first lady of the United States was her promotion of History and the Arts. Jackie made serious efforts to have the American culture except the artistic scene. So she would invite artists, writers, poets and other people of the Arts to the White House so they could mingle with politicians and other political figures. Jackie embraced these meetings to promote these intellectual and creative groups and educate the American society about these groups. These efforts by Jackie were her first steps to beginning of her legacy.
Her work in restoring the White House.
Another contribution of Jackie’s was her work in restoring the White House. She first wanted to make the White House a home for her family and then continued to make it a historical masterpiece to share with the public. She made a kindergarten school, and put in a pool, a swing set and a tree house for her kids. She wanted to restore the White House so the people of America would have a greater appreciation for the White House itself and the hard working people in it. Her hard work during her years as the first lady won her an Emmy award.
Her style and fashion sense.
Not only was Jackie intelligent, hard working and famous, she a woman that was praised for her beauty and fashion sense and also became a trend setter for many women of the United States. Jackie had natural beauty that she dressed up with her sense of fashion. Jackie wore A-line dresses, white jeans, belts, scarves, designers such as Valentino and Givenchy, dark sunglasses and pearl necklaces. Today we see this type of style re-emerging, meaning her time as the first lady still has an effect on women today.
Her impact on the American society.
During her time as first lady she made many contributions to the American society and left a strong legacy that still lives on today. Her promotion of the Arts and History has given America a greater appreciation for those subjects that are becoming more popular today. Her restoration of the White House gave the public and is still giving the public a chance to be apart of the President’s life. And her beauty and fashion sense has given women of America a lady to look up to and be inspired by, and her fashion sense still lives on today. Even though she was an intelligent, hard working woman who made many great contributions and created a legacy for herself, what I believe that she is most remembered for is being an powerful woman in America’s history. She stood out and did things other first ladies did not. She gave women of America a leader to follow and someone to act like. She was a positive influence for that time period and for the woman of America. She was courageous and because of her courage, many women after her and today are following in her foot steps making positive and needed contributions to the United States.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Women in the 1970’s are dramatically changing their role. The reason they are changing their role is due to the Feminist movement. The Feminist movement began in the 1960’s but carried over to the 1970’s gaining a larger audience. Women were beginning to stand up for what they believe in; they are demonstrating this by protesting and picketing. They wanted to change the “traditional” role of women and change the image of gender roles. The 70’s didn’t really have a role to follow for women but, they were beginning to stand up for what they believe is right and to form what that role should be. I can say that the women were changing their hair from long and straight to short and feathery.
A handful of powerful women were supporting this movement with all force and were attempting to gain women’s equality. Strikes and picketing were the most popular form of demonstrating what women want. Majority of the strikes were directly aimed towards sexist laws and social equality. The movement was getting broader which in turn was giving women more opportunities to equality. By the mid 1970’s, women were given the right to work in politics, businesses, law, science, and most commonly the home. Women had finally lifted a newspaper and read in the advertisement section that there were jobs for both women and males, but categorized by the task they had to achieve. With the gain of these job opportunities, women were still losing in the field of wage. There was still a huge gap in the wage of men to women, but has made minimal progress. Women were getting paid about 45% less than men for the exact same position in any field. Progress is progress though.
The women’s movement carried throughout the entire 1970’s and the first few years of the 80’s. A few women that were responsible for this new role change was; Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Betty Ford. Throughout this entire movement, there were several ups and downs. They have won some, but majority of what they were really striving for led in a loss but, the progress they have achieved throughout the ~22 years they were alive created a great foothold for women’s rights. The roles of women were beginning to change but they still have not achieved their goal, equality.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Another major change for women in the 1960's was the usage of contraceptives, such as birth conrol. Over 80 percent of wives at childbearing age were using the birth control pill. This was extremely controversial because women now had a choice of whether or not they wanted to have children. Many women saw this as having a little more freedom for themselves because it is their body and it is up to them what they want to do with it. This created women to become more educated, get better paying jobs, and control exactly how big a family they wanted.
Sexual assaults and domestic violence against women was also rapidly changing in the 60's. Laws began to take place in cities and states to prevent such things from happening. As women gained more rights, more and more laws came into play. Men were no longer able to "control" women like they were able to in the past. Women were able to go out, whether is be the grocery store, a job, or on the bus, and not have to worry about being discriminated against. This was a major turning point for women because they began to feel empowered and felt like, for once in their lives, they had as much freedom as men.
Overall, the women of the 1960's decade had a world of experience. The culture was changing, and so were the women. Feeling power and freedom can make the world of difference in life, and women were finally being granted that opportunity. Whether it was entering the workforce, using contraceptives, or battling violence the women of the 1960's made a huge difference in America; and it is something that sparked an everlasting change in the view of women.
The Flapper Era of the 1920’s
What is a Flapper? How did the Flapper era emerge? What effect did these Flappers have on women and the society of America at that time? And what effect do they have on women today?
The looks and attitudes of the Flapper did not emerge until the 1926, but the changing roles for women began during World War I. Since men were off to war, women had to step in and fill the roles of men. They were no longer just housewives, they entered the work force working in places where usually only men worked and wearing clothing that usually only men wore. Now that women were filling men’s roles, the rules, morals, regulations, cultural norms and structure of the American society were changing. As a result of the war, the once accepted conventions of society were no longer the same and it was hard for men and women of this generation to return to the original society that was in place before the war. Not only did these societal changes come with the end of the war, it came with the Jazz age, which then brought the Flapper era.
What did these Flappers of the 1920’s look like?
Flappers wore long, hour glass looking dresses, skirts and lingerie which revealed a great amount of their arms, legs, chests (which they tried to make as flat as possible) and backs, which before this time was very unheard of. Their hair was in a bob cut and hats were also a big accessory. Other accessories included many layers of beaded necklaces and rings, pins and brooches were also worn. The use of make up also emerged during this time. Flappers were heavy makeup that would accentuate their mouths and eyes.
What were the attitudes of these Flappers?
Women were learning that they had new freedoms because of their changing roles and they embraced it. Flappers of the 1920’s not only changed their appearance, they changed their attitude about how women should look and act. Flappers smoked, drank, embraced sex, listened to jazz and acted completely different than women did before the war. The were often called, “a different breed”.
How did the Flapper era emerge?
The Flapper era occurred because of women’s new position in society and their refusal to return to the way society was before the war. Since many men of their generation died during the war, women decided they were not going to waste their time waiting for the right guy to come, instead they were going to enjoy their time and enjoy it how they wanted. These decisions brought on new freedoms, attitudes, looks, goals, personalities and actions of women.
What effects did Flappers have on women of that time and today?
I believe Flappers gave women a way of expressing their new freedoms, attitudes, looks, goals and actions after the war. They changed the accepted roles of men and women, the ways of thinking of most people of that time and gave women a voice. Flappers showed that women were becoming stronger and that things of that generation and time period were going to change for being a woman. Not only did it affect the women of that time, it affects us today. If the Flappers did not take on the roles of men, go against the accepted ways of women in society at that time and change the looks and attitudes of women, strides for the positions, freedoms and judgment of women today would have not been made.