If you’re looking for historical inspiration, fire up your podcast queue to pay homage to these trailblazing American women. This roundup is organized by length, so you can easily pick an episode based on how much time you have. Dedicate your daily commute or walk to exploring the life of a groundbreaking aviator, learning more about an air force member who was unjustly profiled because of her sexual orientation, or entering the world of a tireless women’s rights activist. #girlpower
10 Minutes or Less
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker from LearnOutLoud’s Biography Podcast in conjunction with the Amazing People Club
Told from a first person perspective, this bite-sized episode takes you into the world of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, who continually defied traditional feminine standards, having parents who encouraged independence and believed their daughters should have an education. She became a teacher, and then a doctor with a private practice. Then came the American Civil War.
- Susan B. Anthony from 5 Minute Biographies
Host Wayne Armstrong packs an abundance of information into this short podcast about women’s suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony. Her unflinching devotion and leadership to the cause, as well as her unwavering determination to see women have the vote, make her an essential lady to pay tribute to on this Women’s Equality Day.
- Helen James from Criminal
Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, NASM-9A14833-030A.
Helen James grew up in a military family, and felt called to serve her country, so it was no surprise that she enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952. In an interview with host Phoebe Judge, who as a lovely bonus may just have the most enchanting voice in podcasting, James tells the story of finding herself under surveillance because of her status as a LGBTQ person employed by the government.
30 to 45 minutes
- Ida B. Wells-Barnett from Stuff You Missed in History Class
Hosts Holly and Tracy will take you on a journey through the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who, being born into slavery and raised in the South, faced extreme prejudice in her day-to-day life. In one instance, Barnett purchased a first-class train ticket, but was ordered to move out of that car, and into the one designated for African Americans; she refused, and was forcibly removed from the train. That incident spurred Barnett to take action.
- Helen Keller from Historical Figures by Parcast
Image is in the public domain
You’re probably already familiar with the story of Helen Keller, the educator and activist who, with great perseverance, overcame the difficulties presented by being blind and death as a result of a childhood illness. This episode is still worth a listen however, because the premise of the Historical Figures podcast is to show you things you didn’t know, about the historical figures you do know.
- Bessie Coleman from The History Chicks
The daughter of sharecroppers, Bessie Coleman’s early years were difficult; although her mother valued education, Coleman often missed school because of the cotton harvest, and due to required family chores and responsibilities caused by their poverty. The history chicks, Beckett and Susan, lead the listener through Coleman’s search for purpose. Wanting more out of life, she eventually moved to Chicago where she caught the aviation bug and broke down gender and racial barriers on her way to groundbreaking success in the sky.
Kirsten Clark is a high school English and Social Studies teacher, a reader, a runner, a writer, a lover of good food, and most importantly, a new mom. Kirsten lives in Vermilion, Alberta with her husband, and since welcoming a baby boy last December, she is embracing the new adventure of motherhood with all of its ups and downs. She occasionally blogs at shelooksforadventure.com, and posts regularly on Instagram @kirstenlanae. Find her on Twitter also.