New Podcast Episode: Margaret Sanger and Race

Dr Dorothy Ferebee - Planned Parenthood as a Public Health Measure for the Negro Race, speech for Birth Control Federation of America, 1942

Dr Dorothy Ferebee – Planned Parenthood as a Public Health Measure for the Negro Race, speech for Birth Control Federation of America, 1942

Listen to this podcast episode here or on Google Play, or subscribe on iTunes

Since the earliest days of her birth control activism, Margaret Sanger has been often accused of being a racist, among other things. To many of her critics, her birth control advocacy must be understood as a nefarious plot to undermine human morals and decency, and any means of twisting her message to convey this are fair game. As I discuss in an earlier piece, a favored method of attack, which persists to this day, is to present a sentence or phrase of Sanger’s out of context to ‘prove’ her ‘true’ beliefs about people of other races. Her detractors even claim that she was on a genocidal mission to reduce or even exterminate black people, Jews, and other immigrant groups by destroying future generations. Never mind that Martin Luther King, Jr. praised her work on behalf of his beleaguered people. Never mind that she worked closely with civil rights leaders such as Mary McLeod Bethune and W.E.B. DuBois. Never mind that she opened clinics to serve black and other minority women because so many existing clinics refused to serve anyone but whites. Never mind that she wrote in 1944:

‘We must protect tomorrow’s Chinese baby and Hindu baby, English and Russian baby, Puerto Rican, Negro and white American babies who will stand side by side… to bring promise of a better future’

Read the written version here

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

New Podcast Episode: Margaret Sanger NYC Sites, Day 4

Planned Parenthood Clinic at Margaret Sanger Square, Mott and Bleeker Streets, NYC

Planned Parenthood Clinic at Margaret Sanger Square, Mott and Bleeker Streets, NYC

Listen to this podcast episode here or on Google Play, or subscribe on iTunes

Friday, October 21st, 2016

It’s cold and rainy, so I spend a long morning with my coffee as I do more research. Try as I might, I just can’t identify, with any certainty, the exact site of the Queens County Penitentiary, Long Island City, where Margaret Sanger was imprisoned for thirty days in 1917 for operating her Brownsville birth control clinic. Nor do I locate the site of the original White Plains Hospital where Sanger trained as a nurse. I had pored over the atlases of that town, from that time, in the New York Public Library map division, and I searched assiduously in their digitized records this morning. No luck.

So I finish my account of the first site I visited on Tuesday and publish it, then head out. It keeps raining, but oh well, it’s not a terribly long walk and besides, I welcome a walk in the rain, under my umbrella, of course. The drought back home had been mostly unrelenting for ages and it’s nice to experience a good rain again.

My first destination is Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Center at Mott and Bleecker Streets… Read the written version here

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

 

Welcome to the new Ordinary Philosophy!

Ordinary Philosophy, Writing a letter *oil on panel *39 x 29.5 cm *signed b.c.: GTB *ca. 1655, assemblage by Amy Cools 2015Greetings to all,

On this New Year’s Day, which also happens to be my birthday and therefore, personally, doubly a day of new beginnings, I’m looking forward to a more expansive, more energetic future for Ordinary Philosophy!

What is Ordinary Philosophy?

It’s a series of explorations founded on the belief that philosophy is an eminently useful endeavor as well as a fascinating and beautiful one, and that citizen philosophers and academic philosophers alike share in making it so. A citizen philosopher myself, I found that my experiences as an avid reader, an artist, a working person, an entrepreneur, a student, and a writer filled my mind constantly with questions and new ideas, spurring me ever on in the search for answers. As I’ve always been a restless and hungry thinker, I fell in love with philosophy, especially, practical philosophy and the history of ideas.

What is Ordinary Philosophy’s mission?

It’s always been to share this love of philosophy and the history of ideas with you. In my explorations, I’ve encountered the most fascinating, innovative, and beautiful ideas from the curious, thoughtful, questing, and inventive world out there, from academic philosophy to science to history to current events to politics to the arts and so, so much more; so much more, in fact, that I can’t possibly process it all on my own.

So here at O.P.’s new home, I’ve broadened the mission.

While there have been occasional guest posts, there will be much more of an emphasis on providing a forum for many more voices at O.P., representing views from all walks of life. O.P. will also publish many more reviews, recommendations, and links directing readers to the great ideas proliferating out there that may be of special interest to O.P.’s audience.

The Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series will also expand. Each series will become more in-depth, with more detailed explorations of the life and ideas of each subject and more resources for further exploration and study. The podcast will expand in tandem: new audio recordings of longer pieces published in O.P. for those of you on the go who enjoy the ideas found here but don’t always have the time to sit down and read. As time goes by, I plan to expand the podcast as well to include interviews and a series of downloadable travel guides to accompany the History of Ideas series.

To better accomplish this expanded mission, I’ve moved O.P. here to its new platform: easier to read, use, and share. So if you love great ideas and the pieces you encounter here, please support O.P.’s expanded mission by sharing as widely as you can.

Lastly, dear readers, I appeal to you: Ordinary Philosophy is a labor of love, and depends entirely on your support. I’m determined to keep O.P. ad-free, but can’t do it without you. All financial contributions will be credited by name (unless anonymity is expressly preferred, of course!) on each project funded by their donations, and welcomed with deepest gratitude. Please support Ordinary Philosophy today!

Yours,

Amy Cools, founder and editor of Ordinary Philosophy

*Listen to the podcast version here or on iTunes