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Made at the Library: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress

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Patsy Mink campaign brochure
Patsy Takemoto Mink, cover of a brochure from her first political campaign for the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, circa 1956. Patsy T. Mink Papers, Box 1, Folder 11, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, join us for a conversation with authors Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Gwendolyn Mink about their new biography of Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink, Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress (New York University Press, 2022). The book vividly details how trailblazer Patsy Mink changed the future of American politics.

With her election in 1964, Congresswoman Mink became the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. She represented the people of Hawaii during two periods, the first from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1990 until her death in 2002. Mink was a vigorous and tireless champion for girls and women, an early and vocal opponent to the Vietnam War, and a leader on issues involving education, the environment, welfare, and civil rights.  She is perhaps best known for her work shepherding and defending Title IX, the legislation that celebrates its 50th anniversary this June 23, and changed the face of education by prohibiting sex-discrimination in federally funded educational programs.

Dr. Wu is Professor of Asian American Studies and Director of the Humanities Center at the University of California, Irvine, and Dr. Mink, Patsy Mink’s daughter, is a noted political science scholar and first-hand witness to many of her mother’s political struggles and achievements.

The discussion, moderated by Manuscript Division historians Elizabeth A. Novara and Margaret McAleer, will demonstrate how researchers access, search for, and discover relevant materials within the Manuscript Division’s holdings and draw conclusions and arguments from historical documents. The Manuscript Division is home to the Patsy T. Mink Papers, consisting of nearly 900,000 items arranged in 2,710 boxes.

The event took place online only on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 12:30pm – 1:30pm EDT. Watch the program here:

Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Made at the Library is an event series highlighting works inspired by and emerging from research at the Library of Congress. Featuring authors, artists and other creators in conversation with Library experts, this series takes a deep dive into the process of working with the Library’s collections.

Comments (4)

  1. We in Hawaii would be very interested to hear this conversation .

  2. Think you for keeping us in Hawaii nei posted.

    • Thank you for your interest! The talk will be live on Zoom at 12:30 EDT/6:30 HST. A recording will be made available on the Library of Congress website about 2 weeks after the live event.

  3. It is the height of irony that the monicker of “Fierce and Fearless” in today’s Congress on the Republican side belongs to Liz Cheney. I can’t imagine that she and Patsy Mink would agree on anything other than the need to defend with all one’s strength the integrity of the electoral process.

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