Medium Staff

Mar 14

35 stories

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Celebrating overlooked innovators, good troublemakers, artists, storytellers, and remarkable women of the past, present, and future. Help us build this list: Share your recommended reads in the responses.

"Naturally talented, Mabley quickly became one of the most successful entertainers on the Chitlin’ Circuit. However, as a Black woman, her wages were meager as compared to her peers."

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"Storytelling is an art form, and it would be limiting to prescribe a 'correct' amount of female or male screen time. Different stories are just that: different. Some might require a greater or smaller number of female characters, and those characters might be more or less important to the plot. With that said, it is good to keep in mind that the world is made up of men and women and that sometimes a male character could just as easily be rewritten as a female character."
"They were well-educated, high-society suffragettes who wanted to play a part in the war effort. Having been denied this request by the British government with a 'go home and sit still' rebuttal, they turned to France and were granted the abbey of Royaumont, a then desolated, dirty place, without running water, heat, or electricity, to turn it into a war hospital."
"Today, women in American popular music (which includes everything from pop to hip-hop) are largely confined to the singer-songwriter lane. Looking back at our musical history canon, it would seem like it was always that way... Only, it wasn’t actually that way. There were great female composers, bandleaders, and instrumentalists in the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s. After the Second World War, they were largely erased from the mainstream music industry and from official histories."
"If you’re a developer, how many times a day do you use the word 'debug'? For that we can credit Grace Hopper, an American who served in the navy in World War II... Hopper and her associates found an actual moth caught inside a switch on one of their machines and had to remove it (literally de-bug) because it was obstructing the machine’s operation. The remains of that moth are now in the Smithsonian."
"I want my child — a little brown girl — to see her racial identity(s) reflected positively in the media. I also want to spare her from awareness of the male gaze, and awareness that her 'beauty' and its ability (or lack of ability) to elicit male desire are still considered paramount in this culture, for as long as I possibly can. As a mother, I consider this a core job responsibility."