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Gerda Lerner

  • ... nursing was regarded as simply an extension of the unpaid services performed by the housewife — a characteristic attitude that haunts the profession to this day.

    • Gerda Lerner,
    • "The Lady and the Mill Girl: Changes in the Status of Women in the Age of Jackson," Midcontinent American Studies Journal ()
  • Black people cannot and will not become integrated into American society on any terms but those of self-determination and autonomy.

  • Survival is a form of resistance.

  • Women's history is the primary tool for women's emancipation.

    • Gerda Lerner,
    • in Ms. ()
  • History is the archives of human experiences and of the thoughts of past generations; history is our collective memory.

  • The desire of men and women to survive their own death has been the single most important force compelling them to preserve and record the past. History is the means whereby we assert the continuity of human life — its creation is one of the earliest humanizing activities of Homo sapiens.

  • All human beings are practicing historians.

  • The only thing one can learn from history is that actions have consequences and that certain actions and certain choices once made are irretrievable.

  • History, a mental construct which extends human life beyond its span, can give meaning to each life and serve as a necessary anchor for us.

  • All whites derive tangible benefits from racism, but such benefits vary by class and sex so that upper-class males benefit more from racism than do lower-class people of both sexes and upper-class women. Racism, by splitting people from one another, helps to prevent alliances of lower-class people which might effectively challenge the system. Racism gives the illusion of superiority to lower-class whites, which convinces them to support the dominant elites, often against their true economic interests.

Gerda Lerner, Austrian-born U.S. historian, writer, screenwriter, educator

(1920 - 2013)

Full name: Gerda Kronstein Lerner.