Episode 51

Angela Todd - Revealing Herstory


November 25th, 2020

48 mins 10 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

My inner child met Angela’s inner child at a business event a year ago and we fell in love. When I found out that Angela’s passion is archiving women’s stories I became obsessed with learning more. As the family historian in my own life, I have always been curious about the absence of the female storyline. I’ve come to realize that this isn’t just a personal issue, but a global one, and that’s why Angela's work is so important. Until we learn our herstory, and that of minorities, we will never have an accurate or complete history. In today's episode, we discuss the trance of unworthiness and its relationship to archive-building and storytelling.

Angela Todd is an archivist, historian, and activist. She has always been THAT girl: talking to wise elders in the grocery store; reading women's stories; asking her kid “where are the women on that Lego spaceship?”, always looking for the women, and seeking out their stories. Now she's on a mission to capture women's stories and to preserve them. Her work is shaped by the belief that every woman has a story worth saving, and that history needs the stories of women and other marginalized folks to even approach living up to its name. 

Angela has a BA in women's studies, MA in literary and cultural theory, and did her PhD work in cultural studies.

Show notes:

  • Women’s stories are usually relegated to the sidelines of history.
  • We don’t have World history or American history without women’s history. 
  • Many women don’t believe they have a story to tell, and this must change. 
  • Ordinary women have extraordinary stories. 
  • We always think someone else has the story or the beauty or the experience.
  • The facts of your life are so much more powerful when they are put in the context of a story. 
  • Our stories can be an inheritance, and our history is made more rich and complex and often illuminate great deeds done by those that might not have made it into the history books. 
  • Hurt people hurt people, but invisible people make more invisible people. 
  • There are structures in place that shape everything and the patriarchy is one of them. 
  • Famous people’s stories are very scripted and not usually helpful when it comes to authentic storytelling. 
  • In order to archive your story you need 3 things: your voice, your papers, your photographs. 
  • History is incomplete without the stories of women and minorities. 
  • Angela is often hired by daughters and many women are gaining a lot of healing by collecting parts of their family history. 
  • Keep your important papers, photos, recordings in a cardboard box and put them on a shelf in a closet.
  • Make a plan to share your archives and pass the information on to the historian in your family or an actual archive, repositories. 
  • Our colleges, universities, town records, church groups - we can find a place to pass along our archives and there are organizations that would like to preserve them.  

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