I'm baaaaccckkk!!! Finally, right? I bet you didn't even miss me. LOL Yep, I am all squared away in my new place, surrounded by boxes, can't find my deodorant or my hair dryer, but I'm online and back blogging. You know, the important things. I hated missing out on the A to Z but, I'm looking forward to catching up. So while all of you are on P, I am on K and doubling up with L so I have a prayer of running even.
K is for Mary Kingsley, a woman whose explorations and writings of Africa helped pave the way for a better understanding of the continent and its people. Mary had little formal education, her schooling was largely due to the fact that her father had a very large library and "allowed" her access to it. However, she did train as a nurse at Kaiserworth Medical Institute.
She arrived in Sierra Leone on August 17, 1893, then pressed on into what is now Angola, areas where non-native women were about as common as unicorns. She explored the Ogooue River and stayed with the remote Fang people in Cameroon. While there, Kingsley climbed Mt. Cameroon by a route previously unknown by European explorers.
Because of her experiences, she held views that were counter to established thought. She got into hot water with the Church of England when she dared to criticize the missionaries who attempted to convert the peoples of Africa by subverting their native cultures. Kingsley wrote two books chronicling her experiences that remain in print today, Travels in West Africa (1897) and West African Studies (1899).
L is for Rose Livingston, an activist, who was known in the early 20th century press as the Angel of Chinatown. She put her life at risk time and again to rescue women and girls from prostitution. Venturing into the slums of Chinatown in New York, Rose would confront the various pimps, cadets and procurers. leading the girls out of the brothels. Rose made many an enemy, including the mayor of New York at the time, William Gaynor. Livingston raged against policemen, councilmen and other officials about how they allowed women to be subjugated, oppressed and put into danger at the hands of brothel keepers and others. At one point, she was beaten severely and received a broken jaw at the hands of one of the pimps she opposed.
Rose was also very outspoken about getting women the right to vote. She believed that the vote was the only way that women could ever truly hope to be free and in charge of their own destinies. A radical thinker for sure.
Mary Kingsley was also an avid amateur biologist. Her explorations on the Ogooue River resulted in the discovery of several unknown variety of fish, three of which were named for her.
Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me back into the wonderful fold of the A to Z. I missed being here very much. Your comments and visits mean a lot to me. And thank you so much, too for the kind and encouraging comments you left regarding my big move. They left me speechless with gratitude.
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