Best Place to Revise Your View of Rosie

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park

The iconic “We Can Do It!” image of a bandana-clad woman, sleeve rolled up to show an impressive bicep, continues to inspire more than 70 years after World War II. But life in the defense industry was not all rosy for the many women of color recruited to work in the war effort. The living national treasure who can tell you all about it is Richmond’s Betty Reid Soskin, at 96, the oldest working park ranger in the country. As she describes in her 2018 book, Sign My Name to Freedom, Black Rosies faced racial discrimination and lack of access to jobs and promotions, along with the misogyny all women defense workers had to overcome. But Soskin’s lectures at the historic park show just how, in spite of everything, “They Did It!” And with her inimitable charm and joie de vivre, she’ll take you on a mind-opening journey.

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