Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Kaylynne Highlights Dorothy Pitman Hughes for Women's History Month

Kaylynne: I was so glad to see Dorothy Pitman Hughes mentioned yesterday. She's been one of my favorites ever since I heard her speak.

Dorothy Pitman Hughes hailed from Lumpkin, Georgia. She founded and ran the NYC Agency for Child Development. She formed the Women's Action Alliance with Gloria Steinem. And she started the first women's shelter in New York.

That's only the beginning for Hughes, who is not only a lifelong community activist, but someone highlighted by Oprah Winfrey as one of the "Great Moms."

Traveling the country and speaking with Gloria Steinem, Hughes Pitman found herself being asked civil rights questions by reporters who asked Steinem feminism questions. The reporters didn't get it, but the audiences did. Her straight talk inspired the audience when I saw her speak.

And straight talk is at the heart of her wonderful book Wake Up and Smell the Dollars -- Whose Inner City Is It Anyway! Dorothy Hughes Pitman is very concerned about the state of the inner cities. She started up Harlem Office Supply and is now the CEO.

A lifelong activist, Dorothy Hughes Pitman continues to demonstrate concern and committment.

To quote from her book Wake Up and Smell the Dollars –Whose Inner City is it Anyway!:

We are now having to contend with a different kind of power -- not just racism, classism and sexism, but something new in our communities; this corporate fever that has hit all over the country. The idea of "compete, compete, compete" without regard for the context in which we are supposed to be competing. Any societal structure -- government, business, education -- exists to serve humanity. This philosophy of competition for the sake of competition and open-ended growth is killing America. We, as African-Americans and other people of color in this country can ill afford to take it on. We are the last people in the position to buy this false, empty sense of power and think we can survive it.