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January 7

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Zora Neale Hurston

Jean Eichelberger Ivey - American composer


QUOTES by Remy de Gourmont, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Zora Neale Hurston.

Zora Neale Hurston

      Born 01-07-1903 (01?), Zora Neale Hurston, major Black author who created realistic characters. A folklorist, she was associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Her best known works are Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), and her autobiography Dust Tracks On a Road (1942).
      ZNH was employed by novelist Fannie Hurst, one of the most successful writers of the time whose books emphasized women's stability and power. Under the sponsorship of Hurst, she entered and became the first black graduate of Barnard, studied anthropology under Franz Boas, who encouraged her to record the black experience in the United States, which was financed by a fellowship and her white patron Charlotte Osgood Mason.
      Her mother urged her to "jump at de sun" and she chose to write rather than teach or continue her studies.
      She was a member of the noted Harlem Renaissance movement. She received a fellowship in anthropology and folklore, worked for the Federal Theatre Project, and the Federal Writer's Project.
      She sought to explain the African-American culture and specifically the position of black women. As she aged, she was unable to get her works published and she struggled financially, working at a number of menial jobs. She died in abject poverty. Her forgotten grave was found by Alice Walker - an experience Walker describes in an essay. As a result, her books have been reissued.

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Jean Eichelberger Ivey

      Jean Eichelberger Ivey - American composer - was born in 1923. Her father operated an anti-feminist newspaper which went broke. She went to college on a full scholarship, then studied at Peabody and Eastman School of Music, getting her Ph.D. in composition (1972).
      Known for her pioneering work in electronic music, she gave the first workshop for the new medium although she prefers voice. Her best known works are Pinball (Folkways records FMS 3/3436), Hera, Hung from the Sky combines taped and live performances and inspired by poem by Carolyn Kizer (Composers Recording, Inc. CRI-SD 325, Garden [1961]), and Testament of Eve (1974).
      In explaining Testament to Eve, Ivey said, "To me as a woman, it is of special interest that in this myth, a woman makes the choice. She chooses knowledge and growth, as opposed to remaining a pampered pet forever in the Garden of Eden. And Eve, whose name traditionally means 'Mother of All The Living' makes this choice not for herself alone but for Adam and her children and all the human race to come. She is very like Prometheus; and yet while Prometheus is usually seen as heroic, Eve in a patriarchal culture was often dismissed as silly, sensual, bad."

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B. 01-07-1844, Bernadette Soubirous, later named St. Bernadette, was a 14-year-old French girl when she claimed she had witnessed 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a cave near her home. The site of the visions with its spring has become one of the most noted pilgrimage and miraculous healing places of the Roman Catholic Church, the Shrine of Lourdes. The cave has its walls covered with the abandoned crutches of those who claim to have been cured there. To get away from the publicity that her visions and the seemingly miraculous cures at Lourdes caused, she entered a convent where she lived her entire life. The Roman Catholic Church canonized St. Bernadette in 1933.

B. 01-07-1861, Louise Imogen Guiney, poet and essayist who relocated to England where she did major research at Oxford. She began to write at 16 to support her widowed mother and herself. However, she was forced to supplement her earnings by working in a post office and a library and the jobs almost killed her muse. She traveled to England with her close friend Alice Brown, also a writer, before moving there and writing again.

B. 01-07-1943, Leona Williams, singer/songwriter.

B. 01-07-1953, Dionne Brand, Trinidad-born Canadian writer of highly political poetry: No Language is Neutral.

Event 01-07-1955, Marian Anderson broke the color line at the Metropolitan Opera when she sang Ulrica in Verdi's The Masked Ball.

B. 01-07-1957, Katie Couric, engaging American television personality described as everyone's kid sister.

Event 01-07-1991, Chicago's Illinois Masonic Hospital agrees not to perform elective abortions in order to purchase needed land from the Roman Catholic Church.

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      "What is truly indispensable for the conduct of life has been taught us by women - the small rules of courtesy, the actions that win us the warmth or deference of others; the words that assure us a welcome; the attitude that must be varied to mesh with character or situations; all social strategy. It is listening to women that teaches up to speak to men."
            -- Remy de Gourmont.

      "In spite of her supposed segregation to maternal duties, the human female, the world-over, works at extra-maternal duties for hours enough to provide her with an independent living, and then is denied independence on the ground that motherhood prevents her working."
            -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman in Women and Economics.

      "Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground."
            -- Zora Neale Hurston: Dust Tracks On A Road.

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