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Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Tiffany B. 's Column

Hellen Keller: American author, political activist, and lecturer.

Weekly Topic: Who is your most favorite historical figure?

Feb 21, 2019

Hello everyone,

This weeks topic here at Cafetalk is: "Who is your most favorite historical figure?" "Why do you like and respect that person?"

    The person that is my absolute favorite is Helen Adams Keller. She was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. Helen is famous for her life story including herself and her lifelong teacher Anne Sullivan. There have been many movies and books written about Helen's life story.  Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her June 27 birthday is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and, in the centenary year of her birth, was recognized by a presidential proclamation from Jimmy Carter.

   Helen was a woman of astounding intelligence, unwavering determination, unbelievable co, rage, an insurmountable achievement.  She dedicated her entire life to the betterment of others, helping people see the potential in their own lives, as well as the lives of people around them. She became the first blind-deaf person to effectively communicate with the sighted and hearing world.  In so doing, she became an international celebrity from the age of eight, even before the era of mass communications.

    Helen Keller never lived independently (unlike today where many deafblind people live independently). She always lived with either Anne Sullivan (and for a few years, Anne Sullivan's husband as well) or Polly Thompson, who joined the household in the 1930s and stayed on after Sullivan passed away in 1936. Among the many things that Helen Keller was famous for saying was her statement that deafness was a "greater affliction" than blindness. Helen Keller passed away on June 1, 1968.

    Helen Keller has been a woman I have always looked up to, even as a small child I was fascinated with her brilliance, especially how she succeeded by graduating from college cum laude. Helen was incredibly smart but she has impressive friends such as Alexander Graham Bell and Mark Twain. Another fact that I love about Helen is she didn’t just advocate for the disabled community; she took an active interest in a lot of issues, especially those relating to the woman’s suffrage movement. Keller had an opinion and she wasn’t afraid of sharing it on every subject from politics to birth control.  She was truly a woman to look up to and I am so thankful for everything she has done. Thank you, Helen, for using your disability as a platform to educate the world.

Feel free to leave your comments below. :)


Tiffany B.

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