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Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pop culture icon – “the Notorious RBG” – by the end of her life. Upon her death last week, at age 87, she inevitably became the center of a political storm over who will replace her and when that decision should be rendered.
For more than a century – until 1999 – an old Louisiana sugar plantation beside the Mississippi River held a painful secret. Locals knew it as Carville, the only leprosy colony in the continental United States.
William Faulkner once famously noted, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” If not explicitly, he was referring most pointedly to an American struggle with race and class dating to the Civil War. The Mississippi native struggled himself.
The Library joins public broadcasting network PBS in a special online presentation – a conversation with acclaimed writer Kali Fajardo-Anstine – in conjunction with the 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival.
Julie Chi-hy Suk, Carol Jenkins, Carrie N. Baker, Pat Spearman, Kate Kelly, Marco Gonzalez, Erica Benson
How close are we to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment? The question hangs anew over Congress. And the courts. Erica Benson, the campaign coordinator for Project 28 MO, a Kansas City-area organization working for ERA ratification, moderates a panel of officials, experts, and ERA activists as they assess the decades-long effort to enact what would be the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enshrining the principle of gender equality in our founding charter.
At 23, while serving as the youngest school principal in the state, Alice Chenoweth was excoriated in Ohio’s newspapers in 1876 for having an affair with the state’s married commissioner of common schools. Rather than retreat in shame, she changed her name, moved to New York City, and spent the rest of her life challenging the double standards of gender.
One hundred years ago this month, women won their fight for the right to vote – though not all of them. Black women, who had pleaded as passionately for suffrage as they did for African Americans’ civil rights, welcomed the 1920 passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment as only a partial victory. Many Native and Asian Americans and other women of color were not granted citizenship and likewise kept at arm’s length from voting booths. University of Minnesota historian Sarah-Jane (Saje) Mathieu recalls and examines those revealing silences amid the celebration of the landmark constitutional amendment.
Stephanie Powell Watts' first novel is a story about the things in our past that haunt us, that continue to call and constrain us from moving ahead. Watts, an associate professor English at Lehigh University who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, discusses her book No One Is Coming to Save Us, in a public conversation with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services. Of her book, Watts says, “Imagine The Great Gatsby set in rural North Carolina, nine decades later, with desperate black people.”
A lot of Black kids, Gabriel Bump says, are just trying to live their lives – fall in love, go to school, not do their homework – but find it difficult to move problem-free through today’s America. Growing up on Chicago’s South Shore, he was one of them. Claude McKay Love, the protagonist of Bump’s debut novel, is, too.