Louis Alemayehu

The first time I saw Meridel I was a college student working for the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church just a few months after the assassination of Martin Luther King in Washington DC. Parts of DC had become burnt out war zones. There was a mass meeting in a Washington DC African American church. It was the summer of 68 and the Poor People’s March & Campaign was camped in the nation’s capital on Washington Mall.  read more

Neala Schleuning

Meridel Le Sueur was a powerful influence on my intellectual and political development. I “met” Meridel in 1973 when I was hired by the Minnesota Historical Society to identify items relating to women in their collection. I kept stumbling across the name Meridel LeSueur. I decided I HAD to interview this woman and research the stories behind her journalistic and fictional narratives. My goal was to validate her stories with historical truths. For example, I read “Salvation Home,” a short article about young women committed to Faribault Mental Hospital. They were subsequently sterilized against their will – an improbable story that actually took place in the 1930s. In the 1980s I was teaching a Women’s Studies course in Austin, Minnesota, and one of the women taking the class had worked at Faribault. She verified the story – apparently many of the young women had been sent there because they were “wild,” uncontrollable girls. They were sterilized to keep them from getting pregnant.  read more

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