Who is Margaret Sanger you may wonder. Though not a household name Sanger is as pivotal a figure in the women’s rights movement as there is. She is the mother of the birth control movement in the United States and in fact it was Sanger who coined the term birth control. It is Sanger who opened the first birth control clinic – think Planned Parenthood – and it is Sanger who worked tirelessly for the poor, teaching women about their options and their rights.
Now thanks to the Harvey-award winning author of the alternative-comic series Hate, Peter Bagge, we get an accessible visual biography of this important leader that will appeal to old and young alike, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger StoryMargaret Sanger and her sister Ethyl Byrne, on the steps of a courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, on January 8, 1917. This photo was taken during a trial accusing Sanger and others for opening a birth control clinic in New York. Both were found guilty.
The cover photo above is a perfect introduction to Sanger’s approach and Bagge’s style. In the 1920′s the Mayor of Boston, James “Banned in Boston” Curley, forbid Sanger from speaking anywhere in public. To get around the ban Sanger appeared on stage at a town hall type meeting wearing a gag. The speech she had written was read by Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. (pictured on the left) while Clarence Darrow, pictured on the right, waited his turn.
Bagge has hit the road in support of the book and will be appearing at Town Hall in Seattle on September 26th.
Also of note:
Another graphic biography of a seminal progressive has recently been published by Seven Stories Press. Parecomic: The Story of Michael Albert and Participatory Economics. Written by Sean Michael Wilson, drawn by Carl Thompson and introduced by Noam Chomsky (his first introduction for a graphic novel) Parecomic offers us the underpinnings of a new economic model to replace the failing capitalist system. Much to learn hear as well as we follow Albert through the 1960′s and his untiring activism.
Correction - this post has been updated – Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America not the first abortion clinic as was stated in original post -