Playlist Women's History Month

Women's History Month

Flannery O'Connor. Photo: Joe McTyre

Celebrate Women's History Month with WTTW in 2021

This March, celebrate Women's History Month with a variety of programming from WTTW featuring profiles of artistic women, looks into the past at trailblazers and rulers, stories of contemporary women working to reshape society, and more. 
Frances Willard, Grace Wilbur Trout, Jane Addams, Ida B. Wells

The Chicago Suffragists Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. Chicago was home to some of the leading suffragists in the nation, and they brought Illinois women a limited right to vote years before 1920.
Call the Midwife season 9. Photo: BBC / Neal Street Productions

Our Women's History Month Programming

March is Women's History Month, and we're celebrating with all sorts of programming: appreciative looks at some of America's funniest women, profiles of literary landmarks, documentaries looking at the dearth of women in various positions, and even a PBS Kids special. 
The White Rabbits at work on the World’s Columbian Exposition. Photo in the public domain

Chicago's Unsung, Pioneering Women

Even prominent female groundbreakers are rarely recognized – there are approximately 40 figurative statues of men in Chicago but only two of women – so what about equally important pioneers who have been forgotten, from activists to literary figures to businesswomen?
Bessie Coleman

The First Female African American Pilot

Only eighteen years after the Wright brothers' first flight, Bessie Coleman overcame both racism and sexism to become the first African American woman to earn a pilot's license, with the help of the Chicago Defender. But her high-flying career was cut tragically short. 

What to Stream This Month

Celebrate Women's History Month with stories of women forgotten or restricted by history like the six wives of Henry VIII, a trailblazing television pioneer, and a popular, binge-worthy discontinued series about women on the home front.
Author Toni Morrison on Callaway Interviews

From the Archive: Toni Morrison

In 1977, Toni Morrison spoke to WTTW's John Callaway about empathy, the importance of storytelling, and her deep love of writing in an extraordinary interview. Watch the Nobel Prize-winning novelist speak honestly early in her career.
A rendering of Kerry James Marshall's Chicago Cultural Center mural

Meet 20 of Chicago's Influential Women in Culture

The renowned Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall is painting a mural on the side of the Chicago Cultural Center that will honor twenty women "who've worked to shape the cultural landscape of the city, past and present."Who are they?
The Brontë sisters in 'To Walk Invisible.' (Courtesy of Gary Moyes/BBC and MASTERPIECE)

International Women's Day

Revisit exceptional women from Nora Ephron to Oprah, Christie Hefner to Maya Angelou, and all three Brontë sisters, with archival interviews, a countrified trivia quiz, explorations of historical figures, and more. 
Branwell Bronte's portrait of his three sisters alongside the actors who portray them in 'To Walk Invisible.' (Courtesy of Michael Prince/BBC and MASTERPIECE)

The Brontë Family and the Actors Who Portray Them

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, which aired Sunday, explores the lives of the authors of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey. Do the actors in the film look like the people that they play?

From the Archive: 'New Yorker' Film Critic Pauline Kael

Hear the influential critic speak about writing a review and the animosity towards a woman writing criticism in this interview with WTTW's John Callaway in 1980. 
Christie Hefner, former chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises

From the Archive: 'Playboy' Executive Christie Hefner

Last month, Playboy brought back nude pictorials after a year without them. Hear part of the debate over the magazine's portrayal of women as it stood back in 1978, in an archival interview with Christie Hefner, then the VP of the company.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Hull House, Alice Hamilton, Jane Addams.

The Groundbreaking Women of Hull House

Celebrate the pioneering achievements, landmark reforms, and impressive careers of some of the women who resided at Jane Addams' social-minded Hull House in the early twentieth century.
Maya Angelou, circa late 70s, early 80s. (Courtesy of Getty)

"Her Life is History": The Universality of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was beyond prolific, and her life touched on many of the most significant people and events of the twentieth century. The creators of a film about the great woman discuss the difficulty of capturing her multi-faceted life on film, why they admire her, and what she was like.
Subscribe to Women's History Month