Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:
We answer a question about women’s rights activist Betty Friedan …
Play some music from Los Lonely Boys …
And report about some young people who reach out to the world through the Internet.
Three young professional people recently started four magazines on the Internet. They expected other young professional people in the United States to read their magazines. But now there are readers in more than ninety-five countries. Barbara Klein tells us about The CulturalConnect.
Sumaya Kazi is twenty-three years old. She is an American whose family comes from Bangladesh. Miz Kazi works for Sun Microsystems, a big technology company in California. Raymond Rouf and Kaiser Shahid are both twenty-five years old. They also work for technology companies.
Miz Kazi, Mister Rouf and Mister Shahid started an organization called The CulturalConnect. Their Internet magazines are for young people in their twenties and thirties whose families come from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and South Asia.
The magazines tell about successful young people and organizations that help people or work to solve social problems. For example, The DesiConnect told about the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action. This group works on issues important to immigrants in San Francisco, California.
The LatinConnect told about the Latin American Folk Institute, which organizes music celebrations in Washington, D. C. In the magazine AsiaConnect, there is a story about a group called ASPIRE, which means Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence.
The MideastConnect told about Nihad Dukhan, a Palestinian American who teaches engineering at the University of Detroit in Michigan. He is also an artist who creates designs using Arabic words and letters.
Readers of CulturalConnect magazines learn about people like Max Ramirez of New York City. Mister Ramirez is twenty-eight years old. He has become very successful helping companies sell their goods to people in the United States who speak Spanish. Each magazine tells readers how to contact the individuals and the organizations.
Sumaya Kazi says the magazines have grown very big very fast. She says many college students want to learn about the kinds of jobs they could have when they graduate. She also says the magazines build bridges between people of different ethnic groups and professions. “Young adults around the world are learning about each other in meaningful and helpful ways,” says Sumaya Kazi.
The magazines are on the Internet at www.theculturalconnect.com.
Our listener question this week comes from Japan. Motoji Okamoto asks about women’s rights activist Betty Friedan.Fifty years ago, many Americans said, “A woman’s place is in the home.” Parents often urged their daughters to get married and let a man take care of them. Few girls studied science, law or engineering.
Betty Friedan was born in nineteen twenty-one in Peoria, Illinois. She graduated from Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts. Later she moved to New York City and worked for labor union newspapers.
But she stopped working when she had children. As a young wife and mother, Betty Friedan was dissatisfied with her life. She wondered if her former college classmates felt the same way. So she studied the opinions of other Smith College graduates during the nineteen fifties and early sixties. The study showed that other women also wanted to be more than homemakers.
Her research led her to write “The Feminine Mystique” in nineteen sixty-three. She wrote that women suffered from feelings of lack of worth. She said women felt that way because they depended on their husbands for economic, emotional and intellectual support.
Millions of people read “The Feminine Mystique.” It became one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. It helped more women seek higher education and better jobs.
In her long life, Betty Friedan did much more than write an important book. In nineteen sixty-six she helped establish NOW, the National Organization for Women. She served as its first president. Four years later she led a march of one-half million women in New York City. The event was called “Women’s Strike for Equality.”
A year later, she helped establish the National Women’s Political Caucus. She said America needed more women in public office if women were to gain equal treatment. She also worked hard for an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
Betty Friedan wrote more books as she grew older. One of these, “Life So Far”, was published when she was almost eighty. By that time, she had become deeply involved in the struggle for the rights of old people.
Betty Friedan died earlier this year, on her eighty-fifth birthday. You can hear more about her life and work Sunday on the Special English program People in America.
Los Lonely Boys
The group called Los Lonely Boys has a new record called “Sacred.” Mario Ritter tells about the album and plays a few songs.
Critics say “Sacred” is a lively combination of dance songs and love songs that have great guitar playing and rich vocals.
The three Garza brothers in Los Lonely Boys are from Texas. Their father, Enrique Garza, taught the boys how to play all their instruments. He also let them play in his band while they were growing up.
The boys honor their father on the album with a special guest appearance in this song, “Outlaws.” The famous singer Willie Nelson also joins in.
The Garza brothers say their father taught them to always help each other while performing on stage. If one is having trouble with an instrument or makes a mistake, the other two just have to play harder. The main guitarist, Henry Garza, also says his father used to say, “If one string breaks, you still have five others.”
Here is a hit single from “Sacred” called “Diamonds.”
A music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle called Henry Garza, “the ball of fire at the center of Los Lonely Boys.” We leave you now with the band and its burning hot guitar sound in another song from “Sacred,” “Living My Life.”
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
This show was written by Karen Leggett, Jerilyn Watson and Caty Weaver, who was also our producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.