Gloria Brown (left), Donna L. Sinclair and “Black Woman in Green,” Brown’s memoir, co-authored with Sinclair. Image Courtesy of Oregon State University Press.
Last week was a big week – it marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment in the United States. Need a refresher on which Amendment the 19th is? It states “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” While the 19th Amendment is celebrated for giving women the right to vote, it’s critical to note and remember that neither all women were given the right of vote nor all men. In practice, Black men and women were barred from voting through various explicit and implicit tactics like voter suppression measures and intimidation. Other groups who continued to be excluded from the vote included Asian American immigrants and Native Americans, along with practically every other minority group in the US.
In honoring the fight of women while acknowledging the further challenges presented to Black and Brown women, especially during this summer of racial conversation, we read Gloria Brown’s, Black Woman in Green: Gloria Brown and the Unmarked Trail to Forest Service Leadership.
Brown grew up in Brightwood Park, by the Fort Totten Metro. Interweaving her personal life, she tells the story of her rise as the first African American woman to attain the rank of forest supervisor at the US Forest Service. Her story is told amongst a backdrop of issues including representation in the federal government, women’s history, the history of the American West, and literature associated with African American experiences in predominantly white societies.
Interested in joining us? Grab a copy of her book (from a local Black-owned business perhaps?) and we would love to hear if you would like us to do a more formal book club style engagements on this book or future books! Interested in more Leaflet content like this? We want to hear your thoughts — we’re always available at firstname.lastname@example.org.