"Did I have doubts? If I simply said I had no doubts I could do it, I wouldn’t be conveying at all the complexity of why I knew I could proceed to do this. I’ve left out one piece of the mosaic—my grandmother. She lived in the house right in back of us. My grandmother thought I was the smartest child that was ever created. She never said to me, “You are the smartest child in the world,” but I knew she thought it because the way she related to me made it clear that she expected great things of me. So in point of fact I believed I should get 100 on every spelling test and that I should be able to answer every question. The reason that’s important is clearly that, in addition to my own parents, there was this matriarchal figure who considered me the center of the universe and that helped to build self-confidence and the sense of ego that drives a person forward. If you said to me, Did I ever have any doubt that I could get the EEOC running effectively? all I could say was that my grandmother expected me to. It’s the last piece of the mosaic."
– Eleanor Holmes Norton, from 'Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times', By Lynn Gilbert.
PARTICULAR PASSIONS recounts the rich oral histories of pioneering women of the twentieth century from the arts and sciences, athletics and law, mathematics and politics.
We share their journeys as they pursue successful paths with intelligence and determination, changing the world for the millions of women and men who were inspired by them.
These stories will captivate, educate, and inspire you.