In celebration of Women's History Month we're honoring the accomplishments of Angeleno women by highlighting a woman-a-day from our Departures installments. As we explored in the cultural histories of Chinatown, the Los Angeles River, Richland Farms, Venice and Highland Park the impact of women on each community is integral to its very fabric and development. And we are proud to share them with you. (For a little background on Women's History Month, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
But because 31 days just isn't enough, we invite you to nominate an "Extraordinary Woman in Your Community." Submit the name and detailed description of a woman who has made a significant impact in your community and we will feature them each week right here on this page and present them with a poster in their honor. Click here to submit your nomination.
Now let's meet the artists, civic leaders, teachers, historians, writers, and activists that are helping to shape a better L.A.
A little background on Women's History Month:
Woman's History Month began with International Women's Day, which was organized by the Socialist Party of America in 1909 as a political event promoting suffrage and other equal rights for women. Celebrations became increasingly popular throughout the country and the world, until in 1987 U.S. Congress proposed to expand the focus for an entire month.
In Los Angeles women have been trailblazing in raising awareness of women's struggles. In 1911, when women achieved the right vote, Caroline Severance, founder of women's clubs in the West Adams community, was considered the spiritual leader of the women's rights movement in Southern California. Charlotta Bass, a prewar migrant and editor and owner of The California Eagle Newspaper from 1912 to 1951, was allegedly the first African-American woman to own and operate a newspaper in the United States, and became the first African-American woman nominated for Vice President, as a candidate of the Progressive Party. In more contemporary history, Sister Karen Boccalero, who founded Self Help Graphics out of a garage in East Los Angeles, nurtured some of L.A.'s most successful Chicano Artists.
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