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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Pioneering Black Feminist Dorothy Pitman Hughes Passes away at Age 84

Hughes toured the US with Gloria Steinem and founded the first shelter for battered women

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UNITED STATES: Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a pioneering Black feminist, and community activist has died aged 84. Hughes co-founded Ms. magazine with Gloria Steinem and appeared with her in one of the most iconic photos of the second-wave feminist movement.

Funeral director Maurice Sconiers reported that Hughes passed away on December 1 in Tampa, Florida, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law. Delethia Ridley Malmsten, her daughter, said that aging was to blame.

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In the early 1970s, Hughes and Steinem developed a potent speaking team while traveling the nation at a time when feminism was viewed as mostly white and middle-class.

Steinem thanked Hughes for assisting her in developing her public speaking confidence.

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The two lifted their right arms in the Black Power salute in one of the most well-known photos of the time, which was captured in October 1971. Hughes was portrayed by Janelle Monaé in the 2020 biopic The Glorias about Steinem.

Hughes, who opened the first refuge for battered women in New York City and co-founded the New York City Agency for Child Development to expand childcare options in the city, was born Dorothy Jean Ridley on October 2, 1938, in Lumpkin, Georgia.

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When she was ten years old, her father was nearly killed and dumped on the door of the family. His family thought the Ku Klux Klan had attacked him.

In the late 1950s, she relocated to New York City where she worked as a salesperson, nightclub singer, and housekeeper.

She joined the civil rights movement in the 1960s and collaborated with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

She founded the West 80th St Community Childcare Center in the late 1960s when she met Steinem in 1968 while the writer was working on a piece for New York Magazine.

They grew close and from 1969 to 1973 they gave speeches on racial and gender issues all around the nation. In 1972, they co-founded Ms, whose debut issue featured Wonder Woman on the cover.

Also Read: Jason David Frank Dies at 49, with Reports Indicating Suicide

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