Eleanor Roosevelt

Aug 11, 2014
Tagged with: Eleanor Roosevelt

Today, MSN is highlighting powerful facts about a few first ladies, including Eleanor Roosevelt, the 32nd First Lady. MSN cites that she defied segregation laws by sitting between the blacks and whites at the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, and that she held the first all-female press conference. http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=2&from=en-us_msnhp#/video/d6677942-14d3-4543-a9e7-7242567afeb4 ( Both of these actions were pretty big, bold moves for that day in age. Watching the video, I couldn’t help but think that she was probably a pretty amazing lady.

As we all know, her husband had Polio and was a wheelchair user from the age of 39. As a man with a disability during that time period, I am sure it wasn’t the norm for him to be a man of means and to hold such a prestigious position. I know how many looks my husband and I receive whenever we walk into a restaurant these days, and it had to have been tenfold that for them. I can just picture her holding her head up high, poised with nothing but dignity and maybe a little pride.

In a society that was predominantly male dominated, I bet she was pretty independent. The struggles that she and her husband faced on a daily basis probably helped her make some of those defining moments we remember her for today. Most likely she, too, was stared at when she entered a room, so what did it matter if she was stared at because her husband used a wheelchair or because she was sitting next to a black person? And she was probably used to speaking up, if not for herself then for her husband, when he didn’t have access to something, so it just makes sense that she would be the first to hold an all-female press conference.

Being a wife of someone with a disability helped make her who she was. Without some of those struggles, we may be remembering a completely different lady today. Which just makes me think—what will the face of disability help change about tomorrow? I can only hope that our future will be even brighter because of it.

What do you think disability will change about tomorrow?


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Author: Kelly Bonner