“You can learn a lot about people from the stories they tell, but you can also know them from the way they sing along, whether they like the windows up or down, if they live by the map or by the world, if they feel the pull of the ocean.”
“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
- Helen Keller, 1911
Why did we learn about Helen Keller’s childhood in school and not about the socialist and feminist advocacy that was her focus for the vast majority of her adult life? She was a suffragette and a disability rights activist! She helped to found the ACLU! She was a member of the Wobblies! She supported birth control and the rights of sex workers! In school her story always ended when she went off to college and “became a writer.” She was a badass political activist, not an inspirational disability trope, and if we learned about that we would think of her as more than just a joke in Apples to Apples.