With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism (MP3 CD)
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Dorothy Pitman Hughes left rural Georgia in the 1950s for New York, determined to fight for civil rights and equality. Transforming herself into a powerhouse activist determined to take on the needs of her community, she created lasting change by revitalizing her West Side neighborhood, a community subjected to racial discrimination, with nonexistent childcare and sub-standard housing. She imagined and then created a high-quality child-care center that also offered job training, adult education classes, a Youth Action corps, housing assistance, and food resources. Her realization that the area could be revitalized by actively engaging and including the community was prescient. As her stature and influence grew to a national level, she went from the West Side to spending several years traversing the country with Gloria Steinem, captivating audiences around the country and educating people about feminism, childcare, and race. In the 1970s, she moved to Harlem to counter gentrification. She bought the franchise to the Miss Greater New York City pageant in order to demonstrate that black was beautiful and opened an office-supply store, becoming a powerful voice for Black women entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses. Throughout every phase of her life, she understood the transformative power of activism within the Black community.