March Madness (3/9/2018)-Bella Abzug v. Hattie Leah Henenberg

Today’s head-to-head is between Bella Abzug and Hattie Leah Henenberg. Bella “Battling Bella” Abzug was one of the first members of Congress to support gay rights, and Hattie Leah Henenberg was one-third of the first all female Texas Supreme Court in 1925.  Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Bella “Battling Bella” Abzug-“A woman’s place is in the House – The House of Representatives.”

Abzug
Image via Wikipedia

From a very young age, Bella was extremely competitive and would consistently beat other children in different competitions. She defied her Jewish Synagogue by performing a mourning prayer every day for a year after her father passed away despite the prayer being traditionally held only for the sons of the deceased. She was class president of her high school and obtained admission to the bar in the 1940s, a time when there were very few women lawyers. She openly fought for Women’s rights and equality; years before her actual election to the House of Representatives, she was placed on Nixon’s infamous master list of political opponents. She beat a 14-year incumbent for her spot in the United States House of Representatives, earning the nickname “Battling Bella.” After her district was eliminated because of redistricting, she ran again and again beat an incumbent for the position. She was one of the first members to openly support legislation for gay rights by introducing the Equality Act of 1974. She attempted to run for the United States Senate, but lost by less than one percent, despite the fact that the media did not once cover her campaign and only spoke about the male candidates. She continued to advocate for women’s rights throughout the rest of her life, coining the popular phrase, “A woman’s place is in the House – The House of Representatives.” She spoke before the United Nations and traveled the world fighting for women until her death. She was very well-known for wearing vibrant hats, but constantly told people, “it’s what’s under the hats that count!” A year before her death, Battling Bella won the Blue Beret Peacekeepers Award, which is the highest civilian honor that the United Nations can award.

Hattie Leah Henenberg-“From birth to death, the poor man is the prey of petty swindlers … Legal aid work consists of giving legal advice and legal assistance gratuitously, if necessary, to all persons who may appear worthy, and who, by reason of poverty, are unable to procure assistance elsewhere. A legal aid society does not give charitable support to needy persons, but only justice and the enforcement of just and honorable claims.”

Hattie
Image via Tarlton Law Library

While working as a stenographer, Hattie took night classes to obtain her law degree from Dallas School of Law (Southern Methodist University). After obtaining passage to the state bar in 1916, Hattie practiced in Dallas and became an active member of and advocated for many different social causes, including creating a Free Legal Aid Bureau of the Dallas Bar Association. In 1925, she was appointed to the special all Female Texas Supreme Court because she, and other female lawyers, were not associated with the parties involved in a certain case like all the male lawyers in the state. After the case, the special Texas Supreme Court disbanded and Hattie returned to Dallas to become a nationally recognized member of the state Democratic Party and helped get President Franklin D. Roosevelt elected.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right.

March Madness (3/8/2018)-Azizah al-Hibri v. Edith S. Sampson

Today’s head-to-head is between Azizah al-Hibri and Edith S. Sampson. Azizah al-Hibri is an advocate for the empowerment of Muslim women, and Edith S. Sampson was the first African American U.S. Delegate to the United Nations. Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Azizah Y. al-Hibri-“Islam says that women should speak emphatically so that they should not be seen as weak and vulnerable.”

Hibri
Image via University of Richmond School of Law

Granddaughter of a sheik, not much is known about Azizah outside of her academic research and talks on Islamic law and gender. She was a professor at Texas A&M University before entering a law school in 1982. She was an associate at two different New York law firms before returning to academia at the University of Richmond School of Law where she remained from 1992 to 2012 when she choice to retire. Azizah is most well-known for advocating for the strength of women in Islam. She founded the Karamah in 1993. Karamah is a group for Muslim Women Lawyers to help empower each other, teach women their rights, and encourage strength of character in female Muslims. The organization went from a small group of like-minded women to a distinguished group that has lasted almost 25 years. In recent years, Azizah has earned several civilian freedom awards and spent time traveling the world to discuss her views on Islamic law. Currently, Azizah is crafting the second volume of her groundbreaking book, “Islamic Worldview: Islamic Jurisprudence, An American Muslim Perspective, Vol. 1” and is working to advocate for a modern understanding of Islam with respect to gender, marriage, family, and jurisprudence.

Edith S. Sampson-“You ask, do we get fair treatment? My answer is no. Just the same, I’d rather be a Negro in America than a citizen of any other country. In the past century we have made more progress than dark-skinned people anywhere else in the world.”

Samspon
Image via Wikipedia

One of eight children, Edith left school at age 14 due to financial problems. She later graduated high school and, while working for a charity, studied at New York School of Social Work, where one of her teachers encouraged her to become a lawyer. After graduating, Edith moved to Chicago where she opened a practice to help serve the local African American community. In 1949, Edith gave speeches as part of the Round-the-World Town Meeting tour, which sent her and 24 other Americans to speak around the world. As a result of her speeches and the improvements she made in U.S foreign relations, President Truman appointed her as the first African American U.S. Delegate to the United Nations in 1950. In 1961 and 1962, she was also the first African American NATO representative. Eventually, Edith became a Circuit Court judge in Cook County Illinois where she remained until she retired.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right.

March Madness (3/7/2018)-Hillary Clinton vs. Charlotte Ray

Today’s head-to-head is between Hilary Clinton and Charlotte Ray. Hilary Clinton was the first woman nominated for President by a major political party, and Charlotte Ray was the first female African American lawyer. Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Hillary Clinton-“Let’s continue to stand up for those who are vulnerable to being left out or marginalized.”

Clinton
Image via Wikipedia.

Despite being a part an otherwise traditional family, Hillary Clinton was raised by her parents to be independent, smart, and to not be limited by her gender. She worked on several presidential campaigns along with other political campaigns before and after she attended Yale Law School. After Yale, she moved to Arkansas and started to advocate for children’s rights and for women’s rights. In Fayetteville, she helped start the city’s first rape crisis center. She helped her husband get elected Arkansas Governor while also continuing to practice law at a prestigious Arkansas law firm. In 1979, she became a partner. From then until Bill became President in 1993, her income was greater than that of her husband’s. During Bill’s tenure as President of the United States, Hillary was an integral part of U.S politics and policy. Hillary Clinton was also the first First Lady to have a post-graduate degree and the first First lady to have her own professional career prior to entering the White House. In 2000, Hillary was elected one of the two Senators from New York, where she remained until 2008 when she ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. She lost that year to Barack Obama, but she was named President Obama’s Secretary of State during his first term in office. She ran again for the Democratic Nomination in 2016, when she became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major Political party. Despite winning the nations popular vote, she lost in the Electoral College and did not win that political campaign. Afterwards, Hillary continued to dedicate her time and efforts to politics and advocating for the public.

Charlotte E. Ray-“I am determined to persevere.”

Ray
Image via Biography.com.

Charlotte Ray was accepted to teach in District of Columbia’s Howard University after college, but Charlotte wished to be lawyer. Because Howard University discouraged women to apply, Charlotte applied under the name “C.E. Ray” to disguise her gender and was accepted into the university’s law school in 1969. After three years of study and specialization in Commercial law, Charlotte became the first woman to graduate from Howard University in 1872, the first African American to obtain a law degree, and shortly after became the first woman to be admitted into the District of Colombia bar. Unfortunately, she was unable to sustain a private practice and settled back in New York, becoming a teacher and marrying.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right. 

March Madness (3/6/2018)-Margaret Brent v. Barbara Jordan

Today we have Margaret Brent, the first woman to practice law in colonial America, against Barbara Jordan, the first African-American woman elected to the Texas State Senate, the first Female Texas state representative in the House of Representatives, and the first African American woman to be President Pro Tem of the Senate. Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Margaret Brent-“I’ve come to seek a voice in this assembly. And yet because I am a woman, forsooth I must stand idly by and not even have a voice in the framing of your laws.”

Brent
Image via Wikipedia.

One of thirteen total children to an English lord, Margaret Brent and several of her siblings immigrated to the new world to better their own fortunes. Because of her lineage, Margaret and two of her sisters became the first female land owners in the colony of Maryland. Very soon after moving to the colonies, Margaret became good friends with the Maryland governor and was joint guardians with him over a young Native American girl who the governor promised to educate. She was also an acting attorney within the colony, though the colony was small and did not often need her. When the English Civil War arrived in the Maryland Colony in the 1960s, the governor was forced to seek help from mercenaries to protect the colonists but died before he could pay them. Margaret was named his executrix and liquidated the estate to pay the mercenaries. The governor’s heir was in England at the time, and Margaret was named the heir’s attorney in Maryland. She faced struggles to attend the Maryland assembly, where she was told to leave because of her gender and was told she was not allowed to vote, despite being a landowner and the acting attorney of a landowner. Despite all the good she did to protect the slowly shrinking colony, as soon as the colony was stabilized and the governor’s heir came from England, Margaret and her siblings were forced to leave Maryland. She became a landowner in Virginia, where she and her sister Mary remained one of the only unmarried women in the colony until their deaths.

Barbara Jordan-“More is required of public officials than slogans and handshakes and press releases. More is required. We must hold ourselves strictly accountable. We must provide the people with a vision of the future.”

Jordan
Image via Wikipedia.

Born into a very religious family, Barbara Jordan was inspired in high school by Edith Sampson to become a lawyer. After attending university and law school, Barbara started practicing in Texas. She spent the majority of her career advocating for civil rights and campaigning to enter one public office or another. Barbara’s third attempt to gain a seat in the Texas Senate was successful and she was the first African-American woman to be elected into that position. She was the president pro tem of the Senate for a period and also served a single day as acting state governor. In 1972, she was elected the first female to be a representative for Texas in the House of Representatives. She remained a well-known member of politics until 1979 (prior to which she was mentioned as being a possible running mate with President Carter) when she retired to become an adjunct professor at UT Austin. Barbara might have been elected to the Supreme Court, if her declining health had not been a factor.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right.

March Madness (3/5/2018)-Lutie Lytle v. Anita Hill

Let’s start the week with a match-up between two phenomenal women! Lutie Lytle, was the first woman to teach in a chartered law wchool in 1897, and Anita Hill is a law professor and advocate for women and civil rights. Which woman inspires you the most? You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk.  Happy voting!

Lutie Lytle-“[I] became impressed with the knowledge of the fact that my own people especially were the victims of legal ignorance. I resolved to fathom its depths and penetrate its mysteries and intricacies in hopes of being a benefit to my people.”

Lyte
Image via Kansas Historical Society.

Lutie Lytle was one of six children to John Lytle, an active politician in Topeka, Kansas. Lutie was a good student and her father was able to use some of his political power to get his daughter a position as an assistant enrolling-desk clerk for the Kansas legislature when Lutie was only 16. While she performed her duties well as a clerk, she decided to become a lawyer to be able to help the African American people who were often taken advantage of by others with more experience in the legal and business world. After graduating as the valedictorian of her class, Lutie returned to her university to teach law in 1897 and became the first woman in the United States to teach at a chartered law school. Afterwards, she continued to spend her life fighting for the rights of women and people of color through the law and through political activism.

Anita Hill-“My belief is that in the past 16 years we have come closer to making the resolution of these issues an honest search for the truth, which, after all, is at the core of all legal inquiry.”

Hill
Image via Fortune.com

Anita Hill is an American attorney and educator who has inspired women to publicly speak out regarding their experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace. Before her outcry many women had experienced what many would now recognize as sexual harassment, but at the time did not know how to handle it. Anita Hill is a highly sought after lecturer, and travels the work speaking on racial and gender issues in the work place. Anita Hill was a professor in civil rights that the Oral Roberts University School of Law, University of Oklahoma School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, and is currently a professor of social policy law and women’s studies at Brandeis University.

Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right.