Delphine LaLaurie was a sadistic socialite who lived in New Orleans. Her home was a chamber of horrors. On April 10, 1834, a fire broke out in the mansion’s kitchen, and firefighters found two slaves chained to the stove. They appeared to have started the fire themselves, in order to attract attention. The firefighters were lead by other slaves to the attic, where the real surprise was. Over a dozen disfigured and maimed slaves were manacled to the walls or floors. Several had been the subjects of gruesome medical experiments. One man appeared to be part of some bizarre sex change, a woman was trapped in a small cage with her limbs broken and reset to look like a crab, and another woman with arms and legs removed, and patches of her flesh sliced off in a circular motion to resemble a caterpillar. Some had had their mouths sewn shut, and had subsequently starved to death, whilst others had their hands sewn to different parts of their bodies. Most were found dead, but some were alive and begging to be killed, to release them from the pain. LaLaurie fled before she could be bought to justice – she was never caught.
Something I did not know until today: About Josephine Baker’s hair? She had her own product she marketed, “Bakerfix”, a type of brilliantine. Thanks to Rich Maxson!
In 1967, Kathrine Switzerwas the first woman to enter and complete the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She registered under the gender-neutral name of “K.V. Switzer”. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” however, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire Marathon. These photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.
This epic megapost is your glorious opportunity to meet 100 amazing black LGBT women who’ve made their mark over the last 150 years.
Women cyclists of the 1890s
“Dearest… If I had only had the courage enuf to kill myself when you reached the climax then — then I would have known happiness, for at that moment I had complete possession of you. Now you see the yearning I am possessed with — the yearning to possess you at all times and it is impossible. What greater suffering can there be — what greater heaven — what greater hell? And how the will to live sticks in me when I wish to live after posessing you. Satisfied? Ah God, no! At this moment I am listening to the rhythm of the pulse coming thru your throat. I am surg[ing] along with your life blood, coursing through the secret places of your body.”
1912 Letter from Almeda Sperry to Emma Goldman.
Featured in the Autostraddle article '15 Ladies Who Were Writing Sexy Lesbian Love Letters Before You Got Born'
Like so many parts of American history, popular culture depicts transgender history as one in which white leaders paved the way for everyone.
But, as our community has to keep reminding people, it was trans women of color who led the Stonewall riot and set off the gay rights movement in this country.
The work of countless black trans warriors have made significant impacts on equal rights and visibility throughout history. These pioneers forged ahead despite intersecting challenges and oppressions. Here are just five of the many black trans women whose influence has helped shape the transgender community as it is today.
Project for my Social Psych class last semester. This poster series was created to 1) challenge these internalized stereotypes by bringing them to the viewer’s attention and 2) expand the range of role models by including a diverse group of women. Each poster follows the same basic pattern: a woman who has demonstrated her competency in a particular area refutes the stereotype that appears above her in the form of “Girls can’t …”. While the posters target girls ranging from children to young adults, I expect the message would also cause people outside that demographic to question their own beliefs about women and power. I designed each aspect of the posters with several principles of social psychology in mind:
Inside a dressing room at Paris’ Moulin Rouge, 1924
Mary Jane Patterson (1840-1894)
Art by Misha VanVaerenbergh (website/tumblr)
Mary Jane was the first African American woman to receive a bachelor’s degree. She graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1862. Oberlin College historian Robert Samuel Fletcher believed that Mary Jane was likely the first black woman in the world the earn a bachelor’s degree, although she is only documented as the first black woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in the US.
Mary Jane was preceded at Oberlin by another black woman, Lucy Stanton Day Sessions, who also completed a four year degree. However, Lucy graduated with a literary degree rather than a bachelor’s degree. At the time, Oberlin offered a lady’s course and a gentleman’s course. The two curriculum covered much of the same material, but the gentleman’s course had a greater focus on classical languages and mathematics. The gentleman’s course was required for a bachelor’s degree and the first female students to earn an AB graduated from Oberlin in 1841.
After graduation, Mary Jane taught at black schools in Ohio, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. For over ten years, Mary Jane was principal of the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth (today Dunbar High School in DC). She was also a founding member of the Colored Woman’s League of Washington DC which focused on training kindergarten teachers and increasing the homemaking skills of working class women.