tv Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink CSPAN June 26, 2016 9:47pm-10:01pm EDT
p.m. eastern on c-span3's american history tv. >> next on american history tv, wu, and asian-american history professor, talks about the life and career of patsy takemoto mink. she was the first woman of color to be elected in hawaii. they interviewed her at this annual meeting of american historians in providence, rhode island. this is 10 minutes. host: who was patsy takemoto mink? judy wu: she was the first woman of color to be elected a member of congress. she served for 24 years.
until 1977 -- she is probably best known for cosponsoring and protecting title ix. after she passed away, they renamed title ix after had to make. host: i did not realize that. when did she die? : she died in 2002. never had the vaccinations that a lot of people tend to have nowadays. i think they found the chickenpox or measles. >> how old was she? judy wu: my math. maybe close to 75 when she passed away. she get involved in politics in the first place? she took part in the democratic revolution in hawaii. eventually it was native hawaians.
-- initially it was native hawaians. they imported workers from puerto rico, portugal. it was a very stratified social society. patsy mink was part of this post-world war ii generation that tried to organize democrats and really reached out to the people who were the have-nots. they reached out to workers, nonwhites, and they built of the party that is still the dominant political force in hawaii. at the time should recently graduated law, a jv. she was also a young woman the , mother of a young child. no one would employ her. she went knocking at all of these law firms. she ended up a librarian. when she came back to hawaii,
she faced gender discrimination. she ended up hanging up her shingle and her clients were relatively poor. ashes trying to make a place for herself as a professional woman, she also got involved into politics. particularhave any qualities that made her successful as a candidate? professor wu: i have never seen her as -- in a person. she seems to have been a very charismatic speaker. she participated in debate in college and high school. she has that ability to move people. she is also committed to liberal values. so, she supported workers, supported people who are marginalized, went to make sure they had equal access and equal rights. went to make sure the government
was there to provide support for those who needed it. she grew up under fdr. hearing his fireside chat broadcast, and i think she really took that to heart as long with her experience about being a racialized woman in hawaii. >> what challenges did she face? professor wu: she becomes a celebrity. she from hawaii, a relatively young state as it enters the united states. they describe her as "pretty and perks." they asked her to demonstrate who love. it is part of her being this exotic woman from hawaii. she was stylish. you look at images from her. she looks like someone who dresses like jackie kennedy. and she took hula as a child, but she wanted to go beyond that and talk seriously about politics. >> how did she end up working on
behalf of title ix? before even going to federal office, she was advocating for equal pay for women, advocating for child care and trying to find out ways the state and federal government could support this initiative. she is part of the labor committee assignment and title ix comes out of those committees. they're trying to make sure women are not discriminated against. not just in terms of sports, but also educational access, access to programs, access to scholarships. she is part of a generation of legislators working on gender equity. >> how would you describe her other compliments? professor wu: she was critical about going into vietnam.
which was a difficult position underin because she was president johnson and was very supportive of a lot of his great society legislation. i think her issue about antiwar and also anti-cold war politics really had to do with her being from hawaii. i think she was very aware of they were sites of nuclear testing, conventional military testing, and i think she was very aware of the impact of that militarization, people living underneath the bombs. that was one of her key initiatives to try to copy -- lobby against military initiatives in vietnam. i can see her being concerned about the land and the water. the state, but also concerned
about those issues in the mainland of the united states. she tried to pass legislation's against trip mining. she tries to pass legislation against nuclear testing. that was also a key issue for her. she is also very supportive of civil rights and racial equality. so when she first gets to congress, it is being debated. -- the voting rights act is being debated. she is a part of these liberal initiatives that we have now the definingred elements of democratic legislation. the it's interesting from perspective of the 1990's and a lot of these programs are subject to attack. she's trying to defend welfare. to critique racism and sexism. she is at the height of liberal
politics but also they were at a point where they were on the road to decline. >> had the mink but daughter is a political scientist. professor wu: right. >> the two of you are working on a book about this woman. tell me about that. professor wu: everyone says you have to talk to wendy. the assertion started conversation but patsy wanted this. she was unsure about how to proceed with that. she did not want to write a completely personal book, but she also did not want to write a completely academic work. it's fantastic to be able to get access to someone like her. i will find something in the archives and i will talk to her and i will say, this is what was going on in her family at that time. this is what was going on with congressional debates. she grew up around the house of representatives. i mentioned health care before. as a teenager, she would take the bus to school, it to her
mother's office, and just roam the halls of congress. they were a very political family, so a dinner time, they would sit and talk about vietnam and welfare and the environment. it has been wonderful to collaborate with her. >> has your research influenced at all how you study women's -- women in politics? professor wu: absolutely. i'm going to be talking about this tomorrow. what's making it for me is i tend to look at grassroots politics. a lot of this is focused on these grassroots organizations. discussing sexism and naming female oppression. i think that is a very important story to tell. this is now shifting our gaze to the capital. we have to think how do these
ideas shape policies? enableo in turn grassroots movements to do what they want to do. >> thank you very much. professor wu: thank you for the opportunity. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website. www.c-span.org/history. you can search our schedule or watch our recent programs. c-span.org/history. applause]d 2016e hard-fought political convention season is over. -- primary season is over. womanch the first nomination from a major party and the first non-politician and
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