Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to talk about some of the women we should celebrate during Women’s History Month and beyond.
The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.
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I recently learned that March is Women’s History Month. The declaration came about when an Education Task Force in Sonoma County, California, felt women’s accomplishments were overlooked. Jimmy Carter presented it to congress and in 1975 it was embraced. I’m excited because I’ve wanted to share fiction books I’ve recently read about real women buried by history.
The movie Hidden Figures brought Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Christine Barden to the forefront of the space race. These mathematicians worked with NASA but they had two strikes against them: they worked in a field dominated by men and they were African-American.
Another Black woman hidden in the shadows is Belle da Costa Green, the subject of The Personal Librarian. She passed for white to work for J.P. Morgan, who was very racist. She became instrumental in amassing priceless books (Gutenberg Bible anyone?) and became one of the most powerful women in NYC.
Helen Frick was the daughter of Henry Clay Frick. He was the chairman of Carnegie Steel and partially responsible for the infamous Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania which killed over 2,000 people. Helen, who remained a spinster, inherited her father’s collection of art and artifacts and turned the family mansion into a New York City museum.
We all know Marie Curie, but how many have heard of Rosalind Franklin, the British scientist who discovered DNA. She’s off our radar because male colleagues stole her work and received the Nobel Prize after she died of radiation poisoning. Her contributions were buried with her.
The bestseller The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek spotlights librarians who rode on horseback to deliver books to people in the Ozarks. The book also focuses on the Blue People of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. It was a genetic anomaly which isolated them from white society.
There are many groups of women who made an impact during the World Wars.
People may have heard of the female pearl divers on a Korean Island, but author Lisa See shows us how they deep-dived in ice cold water without any breathing equipment and in thin clothes. They didn’t dive for pearls, but delicacies they could sell, like octopus and abalone.
There are many more women whose historical influences are overlooked, such as the women freedom fighters in Ukraine, not to mention all the refugee women who are trying to save their families and I’m on a hunt to discover them. Let’s not keep them hidden anymore.