Women’s History Month Books & Films

Celebrate Women's History Month with one of our staff selected books and films. See our staff curated Libby list here.


She Came to to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Library Catalog: Print / CD Audiobook
Libby: eBook / Audiobook
National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation's true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman's life that is both informative and engaging.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee
Library Catalog: Print
Libby: eBook
“Begun by author Lee as a series of tweets, these minibiographies are delivered in a fun, casual style infused with modern pop culture references, slang, and acronyms. The women featured represent an impressive range of historical periods and cultures, and there is also an emphasis on highlighting the contributions of LGBTQ communities.”–School Library Journal
She Votes: How U.S. Women Won Suffrage and What Happened Next by Bridget Quinn
Library Catalog: Print
Libby: eBook
She Votes is an intersectional story of the women who won suffrage, and those who have continued to raise their voices for equality ever since. From the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation to the first woman to wear pants on the Senate floor, author Bridget Quinn shines a spotlight on the women who broke down barriers.
Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality by Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Library Collection: Print
Libby: eBookAudiobook
“Cited by Vice President Kamala Harris as a direct influence, Constance Baker Motley spent her career fighting for racial and gender equality, once defending Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham and launching several campaigns for the desegregation of schools. Chronicling the origins of her parents from the island of Nevis, Brown-Nagin traces Motley's humble beginnings in Connecticut.”–Booklist
Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks
Library Collection: Print
Libby: Audiobook
In this engaging and provocative volume, bell hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice. hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate.
The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women's Rights by Dorothy Wickenden
Library Collection
Libby: eBook
“With this latest work, journalist and author Wickenden (Nothing Daunted) follows the lives of three friends and heroes of the women's rights and abolitionist movements, and describes the ways they impacted both causes. Wickenden effectively argues that these two movements, which were gathering steam during the mid-1800s, did not exist independently of one another; rather, they were intertwined.”–Library Journal
The Authority Gap: Why Women are Still Taken Less Seriously than Men, and What We Can Do About It by Mary Ann Sieghart
Library Collection: Print
Libby: eBook / Audiobook
“Despite some remarkable strides over the last decades, women are still fighting for their rights in the business arena, often feeling brushed aside or undervalued. London-based journalist/broadcaster Sieghart explores what this kind of gender bias means not just for women but for society, considers its intersection with race and class biases, and recommends how it might be countered.”–Library Journal
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, and so much more by Janet Mock
Library Collection
Libby: eBook / Audiobook
In her profound and courageous New York Times bestseller, Janet Mock establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community—and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms. With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
Library Collection: Print
Libby: eBook / Audiobook
“A writer, broadcaster, and feminist activist exposes a global knowledge gap in data pertaining to gender. Criado Perez (Do It Like a Woman…and Change the World, 2015), who was named Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year in Britain in 2013, takes on the challenge of telling the story of the unknown, addressing countless ways in which data about women have been—and continue to be—left out of research that informs everything from daily life to public policy.”–Kirkus
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
Library Collection: Print
Libby: eBook / Audiobook
“A book about feminism from the perspectives of those often left out of the conversation. Kendall (Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights, 2019) takes a magnifying glass and megaphone to the plights of marginalized women, many of whom are criminally overlooked or erased in mainstream feminist discussions of the hardships women face. The author frankly highlights how issues like race, food insecurity, gun violence, and poverty, among others, are all feminist issues, with many of them overlapping or serving to exacerbate others.”–Kirkus
Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn
Library Collection
Libby: eBook
“Few know of Eleanor Roosevelt’s decades-long relationship with Lorena ‘Hick' Hickok, an Associated Press reporter assigned to cover her in the early years of F.D.R.’s presidency. Though previous biographies have marginalized or disregarded this relationship, Quinn’s biography delves deeply into the letters and other records to illustrate a powerfully rich love story that affected the world directly and indirectly.”–Publishers Weekly
No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History by Gail Collins
Library Collection
Libby: eBook
“Popular New York Times columnist Collins continues her exploration of women's history with this breezy look at the position of older women in American society. Beginning with the legend of the first-known colonial woman to arrive in Boston in 1630, she moves forward to the present, mining pop culture, biographies, and a mountain of magazine and academic sources to reveal how older women have been treated (or mistreated) in the ensuing years.”–Booklist


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019 French Drama)
Directed by Céline Sciamma. Starring Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Valeria Golino.
Marianne is hired to paint the wedding portrait of Heloise. As the women orbit each other, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Heloise's first moments of freedom.

The Farewell (2019 Drama)
Directed by Lulu Wang. Starring Awkwafina.
In this funny, heartfelt story, Billi's (Awkwafina) family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch–the only person that doesn't know she only has a few weeks to live.
Ask for Jane (2018 Drama)
Directed by Rachel Carey. Starring Alison Wright, Chloe Levine, Cody Horn, Sarah Steele.
A group of determined Midwestern women begin providing safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s period drama based on a true story.
Parched (2015 Drama)
Directed by Leena Yadav. Starring Lehar Khan, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Tannishtha Chatterjee.
An inspirational drama about women set in the heart of parched rural landscape of Gujarat, India. It traces the bittersweet tale of four ordinary women: traditional Rani, a young widow; lively Lajjo, who lives in an abusive marriage; outcast Bijli, a dancer and prostitute who becomes friends with Rani and Lajjo; and Janaki, a young teenager in a miserable arranged marriage to Rani's son Gulab.
Woman in Motion (2019 Documentary)
Directed by Todd Thompson. Featuring Ashley Eckstein, Michael Dorn, Vivica A. Fox.
Nichelle Nichols' daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, recruiting 8,000 of the nation's best and brightest, including the trailblazing astronauts who became the first African American, Asian and Latino men and women to fly in space.
Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War (2007 Documentary)
Spain, 1936: right-wing military officers led by General Franco (and supported by Hitler and Mussolini) attempt to overthrow the newly elected, democratic government. In response, nearly 80 American women joined the Good Fight- volunteering, in defiance of the US government, to help fight the Fascists in what would become the Spanish Civil War. In this enthralling, meticulously researched documentary, 16 of these brave and idealistic nurses, writers and journalists share stories of courage and commitment to a just cause. Weaving archival materials with words from the likes of Dorothy Parker and Eleanor Roosevelt, “their heroism leaves Hemingway's romantic notions of this war in the dust.” (from High Falls Film Festival)
Jane: An Abortion Service (1996 Documentary)
Directed by Kate Kirtz, Nell Lundy.
This fascinating political look at a little-known chapter in women's history tells the story of “Jane”, the Chicago-based women's health group who performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973 with no formal medical training.
Pushout: the Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (2019 Documentary)
Directed by Jacoba Atlas.
Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by Monique W. Morris, Ed.D, PUSHOUT: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupt one of the most important factors in their lives – education. Alarmingly, African American girls are the fastest-growing population in the juvenile justice system and the only group of girls to disproportionately experience criminalization at every education level.
Categories: Authors & Books and Library News.

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