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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

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Activities: Author Activities

Toni Cade Bambara - Selected Archive Items

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[6178] Melinda Beck, Racism/Sexism (1991),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZ62-115151].
Image of a woman gazing into a mirror; her face is labeled with such words as "racism," "career," "equal pay," and "sexism." Writers like Toni Cade Bambara depict women who feel the pressure of society's conflicting expectations.

[6180] United Women's Contingent, When Women Decide This War Should End, This War Will End: Join the United Women's Contingent on April 24 (1971),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-6882].
Protest poster against the Vietnam War. The antiwar, civil rights, women's rights, and gay liberation movements were connected politically and artistically. In 1961, writer and activist Grace Paley founded the Greenwich Village Peace Center, which was integral to draft resistance during the Vietnam War.

[6182] Ivy Bottin, Woman Power (1965),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [POS 6-U.S., no. 548 (C size) <P&P>].
The women's movement sought to change the dominant perception that all women could be satisfied by homemaking. Many feminists argued that liberation must begin at home, where men should share domestic chores.

[6190] Marcia Salo, I Am a Woman Giving Birth to Myself (1973),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [CN POS 6-U.S., no. 306 (C size) <P&P>] and the Times Change Press.
For many in the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s, there was an intense connection between the personal and the political. Central to these feminists was the fight to gain control over their bodies, as a woman's ability to control her reproductive fate was necessary for personal and political liberation. The feminists' resolve to increase education about female anatomy and reproductive health was, at the time, radical.

[6191] Women's Interart Center, Women are Happening (c. 1973),
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Poster advertising a "Mixed Media Happening," to include workshops on poetry, dance therapy, silkscreen, and Plexiglas sculpture. Writer Toni Cade Bambara was a social activist whose novel The Salt Eaters demonstrates the importance of storytelling in shaping healthy communities.

[6217] Cameron Lawrence, It Is a Sin to Be Silent When It Is Your Duty to Protest (1971),
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Feminist and activist poet Adrienne Rich's work provokes readers to see the connections between the struggle for women's rights and other movements, including that against the war in Vietnam.

[7154] Danny Lyon, Atlanta, Georgia-- High School Student Taylor Washington Is Arrested at Lebs Delicatessen--His Eighth Arrest (1963),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-4843].
Photograph of a police officer restraining a young protester. Many writers in the 1960s and 1970s were profoundly affected by the civil rights movement, including activist Toni Cade Bambara. Bambara's writing focuses on the need for societies to adapt without sacrificing their identities.

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