Jessye Mae Norman

Jessye Mae Norman: Daughter of the South, Citizen of the World

On this day in 1945, Grammy-winning and world-renowned opera singer, Jessye Mae Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia. The celebrated soprano grew up in a musical family, and she spent her childhood listening to Metropolitan Opera performances on the radio and took her inspiration from legends like Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price. She also came … [Read more…]

Ladybug

ladybug grandma

We called my Mother’s Mother “Ma’Ma.” She was a petite woman, made even smaller by her severe osteoporosis that curved her spine into a humpback. She had white hair and a quiet voice that was always filled with kind words for anyone. The more I learn about her life as a single working mother in … [Read more…]

A Week’s Worth of Women in the News: September 6 – 12

by Beth Cavener

From rock star memoirs, a sculptor’s beautiful mind, Serena Williams (AGAIN!), the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, and an SC victory for same-sex couples to black women leading the new labor movement, Chelsea Clinton on Haiti, Reshma Bano Qureshi on beauty and violence in India, and a trans teen making the cheerleading squad in Kansas City, … [Read more…]

Finding Lulu: The Tanzanian Connection

Reid with Elizabeth and Bahati, two of Lulu’s senior facilitators

In July, almost 8,000 miles away, a group of almost 50 young women danced their way up the aisle of a church hall, making their lively entrance into their graduation ceremony. It was graduation time at the Lulu Project, a year-long peer education program in Mwanza, Tanzania, in which teen women learn from other young … [Read more…]

Southern Cover Girl: Kyshona Armstrong sings “Dust and Bones”

photo taken by Grant Beecher

For our next installment of Southern Cover Girls, Kyshona Armstrong sings “Dust and Bones” by Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels and Rope. It’s a deep and bluesy rendition of a hard life lived. Kyshona is a performing musician living in Nashville who stands out for her unique take on Southern gospel, r&b, and blues music … [Read more…]

Yolande Betbeze Fox: “The Most Unconventional Miss America Ever”

Yolande Betbeze Fox surrounded by music

What kind of beauty queen claims Basque ancestry, refuses to wear a swimsuit for pageants, sings opera, protests in solidarity with CORE sit-ins and pickets Miss America for discrimination, and jet-sets with Algerian freedom fighters? Only one so far: Yolande Betbeze Fox: Miss America 1951.