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Is Dorothea Lange’s America our America?

The commentary on the photos of Dorothea Lange at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa asked about the poor who are still with us today. We have made progress, the writers of the commentary replied. “Still, has this progress overcome the challenges of poverty and racism?” “Maybe not” seemed to be the conclusion. Lange’s photos, including […]

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The dignity of the poor

“I had to get my camera to register the things about people that were more important than how poor they were—their pride, their strength, their spirit,” photographer Dorothea Lange once said. Lange’s photos, including the iconic Migrant Mother, “humanized the consequences of the Great Depression.” I saw some of her photos recently in an exhibit […]

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Personal turmoil

Dorothea Lange was taking portraits of wealthy people when she decided to take photographs of the poor during the Great Depression. “I was driven by the fact that I was under personal turmoil to do something,” she once said. Lange’s photos, including the iconic Migrant Mother, “humanized the consequences of the Great Depression.” I saw […]

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Margaret Atwood, feminist

Margaret Atwood has consistently refused to label herself a feminist. Recently, at Arts & Letters Live in Dallas, she explained that, just as there are many kinds of Christians, there are many kinds of feminists. If you look on the Internet, you’ll find 75 different kinds of feminists, Atwood said. And, these 75 different kinds […]

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Sustained outrage

“What you need is sustained outrage, there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority,” Molly Ivins once said. I recently saw the movie about Molly Ivins—“Raise Hell.” Let’s all remember Molly and raise a little more hell. –Joy

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One long struggle

“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America,” Molly Ivins once said. I recently saw the movie about Molly Ivins—“Raise Hell.” Let’s all remember Molly and raise a little more hell. –Joy

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Be outrageous

“So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it,” Molly Ivins once said. “Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.” I recently saw the movie about Molly Ivins—“Raise Hell.” Let’s all remember Molly and […]

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Speak up

“One thing I believe profoundly: We make our own history,” Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in 1962, shortly before her death. “It is not so much the powerful leaders that determine our destiny as the much more powerful influence of the combined voices of the people themselves.”

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The fruit of violence?

“”Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence–but rather, that violence, having passed through the fruit, failed to spoil it,” writes Ocean Vuong, the author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

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Reach back and help someone

“Our greatness has always come from people who expect nothing and take nothing for granted–folks who work hard for what they have, then reach back and help others after them,” Michelle Obama once said.

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