March is Women’s History Month, a time to highlight and honor women’s contributions to history, culture and society . This year’s theme is “Women Who Tell Stories,” which recognizes “women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media.”
As library employees, we have a special role in preserving and sharing women’s stories and achievements. One of these stories is the history of women in labor, which is often missing from textbooks and the media.
Women have always been key to the labor movement, from organizing strikes and unions, to rallying for better working conditions and wages, to documenting and inspiring workers’ struggles for justice. For Women’s History Month, Council 2 compiled a list [PDF] of recommended reading to help expand our appreciation for the under-valued roles women have played in history.
Below is a list of recommended reading from Council 2 highlighting the role of women in history, with links to the KCLS catalog:
- The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice (2017) by Patricia Bell-Scott
- Freedom’s Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970 (2002) by Lynne Olson
- The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II (2014) by Denise Kiernan
- The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace (2016) by Lynn Povich
- Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World (2015) by Rachel Swaby
- Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016) by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States (2003) by Alice Kessler-Harris
- Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (2004), by David Von Drehle
- The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights (2012) ed. Minky Worden
- Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) (2017) by Sue Macy
- With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote (2004) by Ann Bausum
- Women in Pacific Northwest (1989) by Karen Blair
The following books are ones that KCLS does not own, but you can request through Interlibrary Loan (Hi! 👋That’s the department where I work! We welcome your requests!):
- Song of the Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985-87 (2016) by Peter Shapiro
- Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote (1995) by Doris Stevens
- Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present (2009) by Jacqueline Jones
Happy Women’s History Month!