Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women in Congress Lead Committees That Control U.S. Spending; Celebrating Suffragists of Color

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are all women, as is the top White House budget official—the first-ever all-women team to lead the congressional committees that control government spending; new research about women of color involved in the suffrage movement; the power of knitting; and more.

Florida’s Rejection of African American Studies Reflects the Historical Fight for Black Education

Florida officials have rejected a new Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies, calling it “woke indoctrination” that “significantly lacks educational value.” But the modern figures and movements that the state board objects to are extensions of Black history. That history is the story of Black activism, the ongoing, centuries-old struggle for rights and freedoms in the United States—and African American studies as a field is itself rooted in that effort. 

“We have the potential of raising an entire generation of Black children who will not be able to see themselves represented in their own state or in education.”

Our Abortion Stories: ‘My Abortion Was the Beginning of Getting My Life Back’

Last summer, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. A series from Ms., Our Abortion Stories chronicles readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe. Abortions are sought by a wide range of people, for many different reasons. There is no single story.

Share your abortion story by emailing myabortionstory@msmagazine.com.

Black Women Diarists Have Always Looked to Black Future Month

Black Americans have kept and published diaries for more than 150 years, chronicling their experience in the moment and using the powerful conventions associated with the diary form—privacy, honesty, confiding in a trusted audience—to create a stark picture of lived experience under racism. Diaries by African American women document personal experiences within social contexts of injustice—and show how their own actions make history. These stories offer evidence that apparently new developments like the Black Lives Matter movement, white fragility exposure, and intercultural dialogue practices have long roots in the past.

‘Dark Energy’: Poetry for Harriet Tubman

Last year marked 200 years since Harriet Tubman’s birth. To commemorate Tubman’s bicentennial, Ms. magazine launched the Tubman 200 project, honoring her extraordinary legacy.

The multi-disciplinary project included: conversations with Tubman’s descendants; an interactive timeline of Tubman’s life; essays from experts including Dr. Keisha N. Blain and Kate Clifford Larson; a calculator that determines what the U.S. (literally) owes Tubman; a portal for readers to submit their own haikus celebrating Tubman’s legacy; and original poetry—including the show-stopping “dark energy” by scholar and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

RSVP: Reproductive Rights on the 50th Anniversary of Roe

The 19th, a fellow nonprofit newsroom focused on gender news, will mark January’s consequential milestone with high-level conversations on the legal, historical and cultural impact of Roe, and what the future holds without it. The program will feature thought leaders in the reproductive rights and justice space—including our very own Ellie Smeal, Ms. publisher and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

‘Why We Still Love Zora’: Irma McClaurin on PBS Documentary ‘Claiming a Space’ and Zora Neale Hurston’s Legacy

PBS’ American Experience premieres documentary film on pioneering writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space is the first film to explore Hurston’s life and ethnographic work in great detail.

“Anthropology only started looking at the literary styles of novels and non-scholarly writing in the late ’80s. But Zora had already been there and done that,” said Irma McClaurin, Black feminist poet, anthropologist and Hurston expert.

In ‘The Third Reconstruction,’ Peniel E. Joseph Outlines the U.S. Struggle for Racial Justice in the 21st Century

In recent months, historians have clashed over whether history should be used as a tool for the politics of the present. But Peniel E. Joseph’s latest work, The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century demonstrates that not only is the personal political, but the past is too.

Joseph argues the dynamics of the present are never truly knowable until we anchor them to the contours of the past. This means to look at the Black women and queer Black people who have guided movements for social justice throughout American history.