Who Was This Person?

She was born in 1888, and grew up to become a ...
Radical socialist
union worker, IWW member
One of the earliest women to earn a college degree
prominent writer
popular public speaker
suffragette, fighter for women's rights
outspoken proponent for birth control
anti-war activist
well-known celebrity
author of twelve books
spokesman for disability rights
political activist
helped to found the ACLU

Holy crap, that's some accomplished individual. So have you guessed who she is yet?

Helen Keller, that's who.

Oh, yeah, she was blind and deaf, too. You might've heard about that part; but if you don't know any of this other stuff about her, yer jist ignernt; so go fix that. Feministe is a good place to start, a post with a lot of links. 

 Today's Helen Keller Day in Second Life

Check out the Blogswarm at FWD. Lots of good posts there, including this List of other blind women who did notable stuff, and a great analysis at Hoyden About Town.
If you're curious about deaf-blindness and how it affects your life,you should put a human face on it by visiting Life is but a Dream, a really interesting blog, by someone who is deaf-blind themselves.

Doan stay ignernt: Helen Keller didn't.


Alex Numol said...

Having June 19th be "Helen Keller Day" is stealing the spotlight away from Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery. Juneteenth is a very important holiday and should not be brushed aside. I appreciate that having a holiday devoted to Helen Keller is a good thing, but not when it appropriates such a significant date that was ALREADY a holiday. This reeks of racism.

uzza said...

saying good things about someone is racism?

Alex Numol said...

No, appropriating the date of an important moment in Black history that is already a holiday is racism. I have no ill will towards Helen Keller -- as you mentioned, she was a great person and an accomplished activist, among other things, and she deserves to be remembered. But there are plenty of other days in the year that could have been devoted to her. To have June 19th be "Helen Keller Day" without even mentioning the date's significance as Juneteenth is racist. I know you didn't pick the date, but you participated in this racism by posting this without mentioning Juneteenth.

I also find it ironic that you participated in all of this without even Googling "June 19th" or checking up on the FWD comments (where there was plenty of criticism of the dismissal of Juneteenth), and then ended your post with "Doan stay ignernt".

uzza said...

It is ironic. Until I read the complaints Juneteenth hadn't occurred to me, so I felt a little silly. I even started a blog post about the whole thing, but then I thought naw, this is all just dumb, and I deleted it.

Alex Numol said...

This whole thing IS pretty silly -- it's a perfect example of mass ignorance and should never have happened -- but that's no reason to continue said ignorance by waiting for the issue to blow over instead of stepping up and admitting you did wrong. Racism (and no, it doesn't matter that this is accidental racism) isn't something to be taken lightly, and apologies and acknowledgments of wrongdoing are still needed and deserved.

Some bloggers who joined the Hellen Keller Day blogswarm added apologies to their posts after being called out about participating in the erasure of Juneteenth, and at least one such blogger did actually devote a whole new post to apologizing and admitting "Ally Fail".

Knowing you did something wrong is good, but publicly admitting it and apologizing is better. You should go ahead with that post you deleted.

uzza said...

Here ya go.