Download Images From Rad American Women A‑Z: A New Picture Book on the History of Feminism

patti smith letter

The next time sto­ry hour rolls around, you can give a mouse a cook­ie or you can awak­en pre-read­ers (and your­self) to some key fig­ures in wom­en’s his­to­ry. 26 of them, to be pre­cise. It’s no acci­dent that that num­ber cor­re­sponds to the exact num­ber of let­ters in the alpha­bet.

Author Kate Schatz and illus­tra­tor Miri­am Klein Stahl active­ly sought to include women of col­or and a vari­ety of sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tions when choos­ing whom to fea­ture in Rad Amer­i­can Women A To Z, a pro­gres­sive fem­i­nist text cum ABC primer. (Illus­tra­tions from the book, like the ones fea­tured on this page, can be down­loaded here for free.)

odetta letter

Hope­ful­ly Glo­ria Steinem was not too upset to learn that G is for the Grimke sis­ters. Actu­al­ly, I sus­pect that the sec­ond wave’s most rec­og­niz­able super­star would be pleased if read­ers are moved to edu­cate them­selves as to some of the book’s more obscure ref­er­ences.

ursula letter

B is for Bil­lie Jean King who whooped male chau­vin­ist pig Bob­by Rig­gs on the court in 1973’s Bat­tle of the Sex­es. I remem­ber her! A Bil­lie and Bob­by-themed pump­kin took top hon­ors in my school’s Hal­loween carv­ing con­test that year.

It’s fun­ny how when a woman does some­thing they always think we only affect half of the pop­u­la­tion, and peo­ple will come up to me and say thanks for what you did for wom­en’s ten­nis all the time, and I know they’d nev­er say that to a guy.

E is for civ­il rights activist Ella Bak­er, a sec­re­tary who rose through the ranks of the NAACP to become direc­tor of branch­es. She rec­og­nized the press often over­looked her role, as did his­to­ry.

You did­n’t see me on tele­vi­sion, you did­n’t see news sto­ries about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put togeth­er pieces out of which I hoped orga­ni­za­tion might come. My the­o­ry is, strong peo­ple don’t need strong lead­ers.

J is for Jovi­ta Idar, edu­ca­tor and cofounder of the Mex­i­can Fem­i­nist League.

Mex­i­can chil­dren in Texas need an edu­ca­tion…. There is no oth­er means to do it but our­selves, so that we are not deval­ued and humil­i­at­ed by the strangers who sur­round us. 

God­moth­er of Punk Pat­ti Smith, author Ursu­la K. La Guin, and Odet­ta, leg­endary blues singer and “Voice of the Civ­il Rights Move­ment,” are among the mar­quee names to be can­on­ized. See their illus­tra­tions above.

To get all 26 illus­tra­tions in a down­load­able for­mat, click here. To order your own copy of the book, go here.

via Good

Relat­ed Con­tent:

74 Essen­tial Books for Your Per­son­al Library: A List Curat­ed by Female Cre­atives

Simone de Beau­voir Explains “Why I’m a Fem­i­nist” in a Rare TV Inter­view (1975)

Chrissie Hynde’s 10 Pieces of Advice for “Chick Rock­ers” (1994)

Simone de Beau­voir Tells Studs Terkel How She Became an Intel­lec­tu­al and Fem­i­nist (1960)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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