February is the month of Black History, V-Day Love, and Susan B. Anthony Day. How do all these things intersect? Let’s try to connect the dots.
Black History month was codified into law in 1986. Championed by Carter G. Woodson, the ‘father of Black history’ with an agenda to promote Black studies, history, and culture, “Woodson’s goal from the very beginning was to make the celebration of Black history in the field of history a ‘serious area of study.” (Source). He spent his whole life working towards this goal.
As it turns out, the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is 2.7 miles from the MOM Art Annex in the city of St. Petersburg. This is just one more reason St. Pete is an awesome place to develop our mission here in Pinellas County Florida. We sure do appreciate our neighbors. Next time you stop in to visit us, make sure to schedule a visit at the Woodson Museum too!
And now, with the month of love upon us, let’s give a big shout out for February 14th. Might we propose a renewed focus on brotherly and sisterly love this Valentines Day? Might we push back on violence in this wildly radicalized world. This secular event is celebrated worldwide as a day of affection and romance, yet humans have so much more to improve upon.
Here at MoM: We push back on war. We push back on aggression and lies. We push back on book banning, oppression, and hate speech. We acknowledge the lives lost to violence, the misguided ‘othering’ of individuals, and the patriarchal constructs that continue to dominate our world culture. This year on the 14th, we celebrate the V-Day Movement, One Billion Rising, an activist organization that emerged out of the Vagina Monologues by Even Ensler on Feb. 14, 1998 to stop violence of all kinds around the planet.
Then, rising up on February 15th is Susan B. Anthony‘s birthday. We honor her on this remembrance day for her commitment to suffrage during the first wave feminist movement in the United States. Her work with Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass and others, as both an abolitionist and then working on behalf of women for the right to vote, are seminal. Though these partnerships were complicated, Anthony a ‘woman’ and Douglas a ‘Black man’ are both significant figures in the early emancipation movements. Remarkably, Anthony’s birthday is a state holiday in Florida. I am proud to say that I still hold the Susan B. Anthony award by NOW-NYC, which proudly hangs in my office at the Annex. See more about the feminist waves below in our Flash Feminism slide show!
What’s next? A lot, it turns out. This Friday, we will be hosting a dinner with YesChefVillage onsite here at MoM. Sunday, February 5th is a sold-out Feminist Pizza Party in our garden to benefit the public arts initiative in Kenwood. I look forward to continuing my work with the St. Pete High School Feminist Club with several projects including this simple booklet introducing the four waves of feminism to students of all ages (See slide show above). I also have the privilege of overseeing detailed projects with interns conducting advanced scholarship in the area of mother studies from around the world! Finally, MoM will be participating in Localtopia 2023 with our own table and information about launching our capital building campaign, while hopefully finalizing the acquisition of the Mother Tree statue. These are just a few of our offerings this month at MoM. Looking forward to the intersections that connect us. See some of our recent tour participants here 🙂 Please donate to our success if you can!
With Love Always, All the Time; Martha JOY Rose, Founder/Director MoM