Daily Archives: August 27, 2017

Traveling to the USA alone at age 13, in 1908

Forward: My Hero Grandmother Who Escaped An Arranged Marriage. By Laurie Gwen Shapiro.

“When I was nine, I joined my mother Jeanette Meiselman Shapiro to conduct an oral history of my grandmother’s dramatic escape from an arranged marriage — a thesis project for Mom’s 1970s feminism class at Pace University, where she had returned to school to finish her degree.

Not long ago, while reading a current story about girls forced to marry young for religious reasons, I felt renewed rage and pride at how daring my grandmother had been at the turn of the last century. My mother died nine years ago and only recently, when I was cleaning out a closet, did I dig up her yellowed notes on her mother’s escape and early life in America. Not everything was familiar, as I had been asked to leave the room for the more sensitive conversations. With the aid of the Internet and more oral interviews from remaining family, I’ve kept going where my mother left off.”

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