‘Badass Women’ Of Chicago History Highlighted In Virtual Tour

Historians in the News
tags: Chicago, public history, womens history

Chicago women do not get their due in conversations about the city’s history, said tour guide Amanda Scotese.

A virtual series of tours this month hosted by Scotese’s company, Chicago Detours, will work to change that.

The Avondale-based tour company is hosting a virtual tour event called “Badass Women of History.” The event will be held four days in March, starting Monday, which is International Women’s Day. March is Women’s History Month.

Badass Women of History will tell the story of six women with Chicago ties who left a mark on the city or the world, Scotese said. Hopefully, the event helps level the playing field when it comes to gender equity in the retelling of the city’s history, she said.

“If you ask people to name five important men in Chicago history, they’d have no problem,” Scotese said. “There’s so many women who have incredible stories and you’ve never heard of them.”

The one-hour event will take participants on a tour of a number of Chicago neighborhoods and locations associated with the six women being featured, Scotese said. Each tour stop will highlight a character trait that made the women successful in their fields.


Enid Yandell

Enid Yandell is a Kentucky-born sculptor who is best known for her work in the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. She designed a number of statutes for the fair and contributed to The Woman’s Building, designed by a team of female architects and sculptors. Due to the success of her Chicago work, Yandell was commissioned to create the Pallas Athena in Nashville, which in 1897 was the largest sculpture ever created by a woman.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman is the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license, but she had to move to France to do it. Coleman, who moved to Chicago from Texas at age 23, could not get accepted to flight school in the United States because of her race. She enlisted the help of the Chicago Defender, a legendary Black newspaper, which helped her get to France for flight lessons, according to WTTW. She became a stunt pilot and a national sensation until she was killed during a flight in 1926. Coleman’s Bronzeville home still stands, and a library branch in Woodlawn is named after her.

Read entire article at Block Club Chicago

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