Tag: Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem: Black Women Created the Feminist Movement

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pittman-Hughes 1972 and 2014 (photo via viralwomen.com)
Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes 1972 and 2014 (photo via viralwomen.com)

In a recent interview with Black Enterprise, feminist journalist and activist Gloria Steinem had some refreshing things to say about Black women’s progressive history in the fight for gender equality.

“I thought that [Black women] invented the feminist movement…I learned feminism disproportionately from Black women. ”

Steinem explained that in earlier years, surveys showed that African American women were twice as vocal and biased towards feminist issues and beliefs as their White counterparts. She also spoke on her personal practice of giving the floor to other young women (whether or not they self-identify as feminists) to address concerns for people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. If she is challenged by younger Black women who say that feminism doesn’t speak to them, Steinem says:

“I don’t say anything. I listen because the point is that we help each other to get dignity and autonomy and freedom. We’re here to help each other.”

Steinem has a history of working with Black feminists. In 1972, Steinem founded Ms. Magazine with Dorothy Pitman-Hughes, the author and child welfare advocate. Steinem was also affiliated with the deceased lawyer Flo Kennedy and worked alongside Alice Walker, making Walker one of the earliest Black editors at Ms. 

The famous feminist spoke on the issues of police brutality as well, noting the importance of equally employing women in the police force to calm racially tense situations.

“[W]e haven’t been raise with our masculinity to prove. All the studies show that if a woman cop arrives on the scene, she de-escalates the situation by her presence and a man cop escalates. So while we’re talking as we should about cops looking like the community, how come we don’t say they should be half women?”

Check out more Steinem’s insightful commentary here at Black Enterprise.

article by Monique John via hellobeautiful.com

Oprah Winfrey, Ernie Banks and Bayard Rustin to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

barack_obama-1According to ABC News, Oprah Winfrey, baseball great Ernie Banks and 1960s civil rights leader Bayard Rustin are among the 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom that President Obama will honor at the White House later this year.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours,” the president said in a written statement. “This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.”

Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy established the Medal of Freedom as the nation’s highest civilian honor. Since then, more than 500 people have been recognized with the award for their contributions to all corners of society.  This year’s recipients include musicians, athletes, journalists, lawmakers, advocates and scientists.

In addition to Winfrey, Banks and Rustin (who is receiving his award posthumously), Obama will honor former President Bill Clinton as well as the Washington Post’s former executive editor, Ben Bradlee, who oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of Watergate and the end of the Nixon presidency, former University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, feminist pioneer and political activist Gloria Steinem, country music legend Loretta Lynn, and Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut to travel to space, among others.

Below is the full list of recipients from the White House:

Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey, Ernie Banks and Bayard Rustin to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom”