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Finding Aid for the Barbara Macdonald papers, 1912-2002 LSC.2159
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Barbara Macdonald (1913-2000) was a social worker, lesbian feminist activist and ageism activist. Her work was the inspiration for the First West Coast Conference of Old Lesbians in 1987. Out of the conference came the creation of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, a national organization seeking to end the ageism experienced by old women. This collection contains Macdonald's published and unpublished talks, drafts, notes, ephemera, promotional material and publisher's correspondence. The collection also includes materials by and about author and activist Cynthia Rich, Macdonald's partner and coauthor of their book Look Me in the Eye.
Barbara Anne (Charles) Macdonald, social worker, lesbian feminist activist, and author, was born on September 11, 1913, to Emily Lister (Baker) Charles and Fred Henly Charles in Pomona, California. She grew up around La Habra, California. At the age of fifteen, she left home permanently and began supporting herself as a domestic worker in Long Beach, California. In 1930 Macdonald married Elmo Davis; the marriage lasted five years. She attended Long Beach Junior College (1931-1932), Santa Ana Junior College (1932-1937) where she was almost expelled for being a lesbian, and the University of California, Berkeley (1938-1940). She paid for her education by working as a stunt parachute jumper about which she was the subject of numerous articles in The Santa Ana Register, which called her "intrepid and daring." Macdonald married John Macdonald in 1941; the marriage was very brief.
1.8 linear feet (4 document boxes, 1 shoe box)
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