Sixty years ago, Helen Keller was given an honorary Oscar as inspiration for the movie Helen Keller in Her Story a documentary by Nancy Hamilton about her life; she turned 75 that year and had spent 6 decades fighting for those with vision loss. Decades earlier, in 1916 she delivered an address on the Midland Chautauqua Circuit in which she said:
I, for one, love strength, daring, fortitude. I do not want people to kill the fight in them; I want them to fight for right things.
And that she most certainly did!
In addition to her work for those with visual impairments, Helen never ceased to demand that women, the poor and disenfranchised be afforded an equal chance to live a full life. It is interesting to consider that in the late 1940s and 1950s, as the Cold War set in and many American women were being relegated to the kitchen, here was a person who was in her 60s and 70s, who was deaf, blind, a socialist and a woman, and who was circumnavigating the globe unstoppable in her mission of equal rights and justice for all.
Image: Helen Keller holding her honorary Oscar, 1955