“If you had asked me, in 1968, to come up with the names of American women who had been active in the struggle for legal justice for their sex in the past, the only one I am certain I could have pulled out of my head was Susan B. Anthony. I might, possibly, have thought of Eleanor Roosevelt, because I knew she had been ridiculed as the wife of the president for her interest in both the status of women and black Americans.
The forgetting of the history of marginalized groups is both a cause and effect of their marginalization. If you are marginalized, you don’t have the clout to move your story into mainstream institutions—such as public schools—that automatically pass on the stories considered foundational to a society. Indeed, one of the main rationales for the existence and public support of such institutions is that they are necessary to passing on the common heritage of a culture. But the pertinent question is: Just who defines what is ‘common’ in our heritage?”
– Susan Jacoby