Sadly, little has changed. The great-granddaughters of the same women who betrayed the garment workers then continue to do so today. My grandmother Miriam Glasband was one of those immigrants but never worked in a garment factory. She graduated from Columbia with a degree in pharmacy and opened a pharmacy in Hells Kitchen, then later became the first female pharmacist in California. She was one of the 8 original members of the American Communist Party. Every woman in my family for as many generations as I know, including on the other side, with my great-grandmother Nallie Sexton Doak, the first female business owner in Riverside, CA (employing seamstresses in dignity with fair pay) has fought for basic human dignity and quality of life.

Because I was orphaned and somewhat cut off, I only came to understand this about my grandmothers and their mothers, and their mothers, much later.

My mother was one of the first female animation art directors. She redesigned Mr. Magoo and died of pancreatic cancer at age 40, a disease almost certainly caused by the toxic acrylic paints she used beginning with her early work at Disney.

Not too much has changed.

According to Harlan Ellison and my grandmother, “You’ll go far Amy, because you have heart.” Author of 40 books, former exec., Nebula Award nominee, Poor.

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