HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL – Feb. 24, 2017 – SHEROES & HEROES: ACTIVISTS
Compiled by Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center Director Beth Foster
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual “Helen Keller Day.” Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.
A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of 12 inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Helen proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world.
Today’s Action: “The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.” —Helen Keller, 1911
Spend a little time online learning about Helen Keller’s more radical leanings.
Today’s Sharing: Is Helen Keller’s story a little different, a little more complex, than what you learned in elementary school? What did you learn that suprised you? Share with us on the Holy Heretic Facebook Page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine.