I am Woman-Hear Me Roar!
“Oh yes I am wise but it’s wisdom born of pain. Yes, I’ve paid the price but look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman!” In 1971, Australian-American artist Helen Reddy belted out these lyrics to celebrate female empowerment during a time when our country was changing.
March is nationally recognized as Women’s History Month. This celebration honors women’s contributions in all aspects of life. In 1980, President Carter declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. It was not until six years later that the National Women’s History Project convinced Congress to dedicate the entire month to recognize and celebrate women’s history.
To visit where it all began, the History Detectives explore a pennant believed to be from the Women’s Suffrage Party from the early 1900s. With this complete lesson plan, students view images from the Women's Suffrage Movement and then watch an excerpt from the History Detectives episode Suffrage Pennant. Classrooms can then hold a mock convention where students, in the roles of characters from history, present arguments for and against the women's right to vote.
WILL-TV, your local PBS station, will carry special programming for Women’s History. To catch a glimpse of the past, you may want to tune into To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters. This MASTERPIECE special depicts the evolution of three secluded, dutiful clergyman’s daughters into authors of the most controversial fiction of the 1840’s. John Green, star of the YouTube series Crash Course teaches us about Charlotte Bronte’s classic coming of age novel, Jane Eyre, which was published in 1847. For your entertaining pleasure, there is the American Masters special, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and Patsy Cline. I had the pleasure of viewing the Maya Angelou special yesterday and it is enlightening! She was a Phenomenal Woman who did so many great things for African-Americans and women in this country. I am excited to watch the Patsy Cline special as it makes me think of my grandma. As a little girl, I remember my grandma singing Patsy Cline songs to me and rocking me in her chair. Now, we can probably agree that Patsy Cline songs weren’t written to be sung while you rock your little ones- but she was my grandma’s favorite singer and thus these songs will always hold a special place in my heart.
As we engage in celebrations and reflections over Women’s History Month, think about what the late Dorothy I. Height said, “Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.”