Dorothy Pitman Hughes, the Black feminist, child welfare advocate, and lifelong activist who co-founded Ms. Magazine with Gloria Steinem, died on December 1, 2018. She was 84 years old, according to reports.
Dorothy Pitman Hughes Obituary
Hughes died at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Tampa, Florida, according to Maurice Sconiers of the Sconiers Funeral Home in Columbus, Georgia. According to her daughter, Delethia Ridley Malmsten, the official cause of death was old age.
Hughes and Steinem, according to the news outlet, went on a speaking tour around the country in the 1970s. One of the most iconic photos from the second-wave feminist movement is of two women raising their right fists in the Black Power salute. According to the Associated Press, the October 1971 portrait is presently on display at the National Portrait Gallery.
Dorothy Jean Ridley was born on October 2, 1938, in Lumpkin, Georgia, according to her obituary. When she was ten years old, her father was beaten and left for dead at the family’s front door. Hughes took the decision to devote herself to social engagement as a result of her family’s conviction that he had been abused by the KKK.
According to her obituary, she moved to New York City in 1957 and began her advocacy career by assisting in the posting of bail for civil rights activists. According to the Associated Press, she worked with civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in the 1960s.
Hughes co-founded the New York City Agency for Child Development and developed the city’s first shelter for abused women, according to the Associated Press. Her greatest enduring contribution was a community center she built on Manhattan’s West Side.
“She pulled families off the street and gave them jobs,” Malmsten told the Associated Press on Sunday.
There, she met Steinem, who was working on a piece about the institution for New York Magazine. They developed a mutual connection and eventually co-founded Ms. Magazine. According to the magazine’s history, it first appeared in New York Magazine in December 1971 as a “one-shot” sample insert.
Ms. was published monthly until 1987, when it transitioned to a quarterly schedule, according to Smithsonian.
Steinem lauded Hughes’ community volunteer work in an email to the news agency.
Dorothy Pitman Hughes, who was a friend of Steinem’s, started a new kind of childcare center on the west side of Manhattan. After meeting in the 1970s, while I was studying and writing about that childcare, we became speaking partners and excellent friends. By telling her story, we can honor her memory and find strength in the way she lived.