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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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Free to Be on West 80th Street

Free to Be on West 80th Street

Chapter:
(p.229) Free to Be on West 80th Street
Source:
When We Were Free to Be
Author(s):

Dorothy Pitman Hughes

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff.32

This chapter describes the author's work as an activist, in which she has focused mainly on children. When she saw the toll taken by the Vietnam War, the author was concerned not only about the soldiers but also about the children whose fathers were fighting and sacrificing their lives. Some of these kids did not even have a bed to sleep in. The author immediately went to work to try to solve this problem. This involved her fully in the antiwar movement and in the fight for racially integrated child care in New York City. Working women desperately needed child care services. The author knew many women in the late 1960s and early 1970s who were working at any job they could get and leaving their children at home. The kids were not left totally by themselves. Children often were taking care of other children; twelve-year-olds were taking care of four-year-olds. Twelve-year-olds were doing the cooking, cleaning, and clothes washing—the things a full-grown person would do.

Keywords:   activist, children, Vietnam War, antiwar movement, child care, New York City

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