Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Discrimination – A Coat of Many Colors

[In the General Motors (GM) case] … to [outlaw] sex and race discrimination [experienced by individuals or a group], the courts would have had to recognize a new minority classification, African American females. The court opposed the creation of any new classifications proposing that, “the creation of new classes of protected minorities, governed only by the mathematical principles of permutation and combination, [would] clearly raise[*] the prospect of opening the hackneyed Pandora’s box.” If the women had been able to show that they had been victims of discrimination because they were black or because they were women they would have had a case, but because GM was not discriminatory against white women nor black men, the women had no legal case.

Biography, Politics, Women's History

The Smith Sisters of Sierra Leone – West African Nurses Extraordinaire

… the Smith sisters descended from a famous Mandingo/Bambara re-captive woman, the feisty, flamboyant, wealthy, illiterate merchant Betsy Carew, rescued from a westbound slave ship and set free in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Her husband, Thomas Carew, the Smith’s great grandfather, was a Maroon whose ancestors were exiled to Nova Scotia from Jamaica, then shipped to Sierra Leone. The marriage caused much controversy in the emerging bourgeoisie settler community which was made up of African-American Nova Scotians (that had fought on the British side during the American war of independence) and Maroon Nova Scotians who did not take kindly to illiterate re-captives (liberated slaves) marrying into their community.