In 1951, Dr. Mildred Jefferson became the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. In 2003, we named her a Remarkable Pro-Life Woman®. I vividly remember her smile, the joy she had for life while defending mothers and children from abortion — and the honor of her attending my speech to law students at Boston College.
Dr. Jefferson nominated Feminists for Life of America to be the first pro-life group to donate our records for inclusion in the most prestigious collection of women’s archives in the world at her alma mater, Harvard.
In April 2010, FFL Board members were invited to tour the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library for the Advancement of Women located at the former Radcliffe College, now a part of Harvard.
While at the library, the Board saw precious buttons from the first wave of suffrage and a special display — including a letter from Alice Paul to her mother while in prison, a book signed with an inscription by Susan B. Anthony, and other first wave memorabilia. At the end of the table was our place in pro-life, pro-woman history. They had already been collecting The American Feminist!
But something else they showed us was disturbing. During the time of Margaret Sanger, there was an effort to collect letters from women miserable from giving birth, or from having many children. We don’t dismiss their feelings. They could have suffered from postpartum depression, poverty or lack of resources and support. Addressing those serious issues is our mission, but there is another side to motherhood.
As we have taken on so many serious subjects and as we emerge from the pandemic, along with school shutdowns; isolation; social distancing; masking; increased rates of domestic abuse, drug overdoses, and suicide; and more, we want to focus on the SHEER JOY children bring.
After all, we are happy feminists!
We would like to see and share the joyous, hopeful, yet realistic side of being a mother or caregiver, including funny stories!
- new mothers,
- adoptive mothers,
- mothers of children with special needs,
- those living in multigenerational homes,
- young mothers,
- mothers of multiples,
- mothers of large families
- mothers who didn’t have much materially but found riches in the joy of their children,
- spiritual mothers and godmothers,
- big sisters,
- anyone else who played a maternal role, whether that was you or someone who did so for you,
- and finally, we of course want to hear men’s perspectives, too. Dads, please answer this email!
Your story doesn’t just have to be about your children as infants. We want to hear about toddlers, middle schoolers, teens, and beyond. We also want precious photos and funny kids’ drawings.
And, if you can and are willing, we also would appreciate perspectives from those who have lost children, but with a focus on the joy of the precious time you had as parents.
We want to lift people up and invite you to contribute to this historic effort. Please reply into this with your stories today! We can withhold names or use pseudonyms upon request.
This is our family album — and our keepsake. And one day, the next edition of The American Feminist filled with our stories — and perhaps YOUR story — about how children contribute great joy to our lives will be included in our archives at Harvard for historians to read in the future.
Please take a moment and reply, and become part of our history. I thank you in advance for sharing your funniest, sweetest, tenderest, and most precious memories.
Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
Feminists for Life of America
Women Deserve Better
& The American Feminist