Helen Adams Keller
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Famous Deaf People
Helen Adams Keller:


Helen Adams Keller

Author, lecturer and activist.
Born: 27th June 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama
Died: 1st June 1968 in Easton, Connecticut

 

Index
2. Early years
3. The teacher 4. The training
5. Into the world 6. Hectic days
7. The end of the Road 8. Honorarium posthumous
9. What legacy did Helen left to the world? 10. Lobbyist
11. Author 12. Suffragist
13. Pacifist 14. Birth control
15. Friend 16. Champion
17. Epitaph 18. Resources

 

Preamble:
During, and after the Great American Civil War in 1865 there was little opportunities for Southerner's, as most of their infrastructure and livelihood, were willfully destroyed by the Union Army as a matter of policy, to break the resistance of the general populace of the Confederate States. It would take many years to normalize decent living standards in the south.
It was, in these circumstances, that the union (1879) of Arthur Henley Keller a captain in the Confederate army during the war, and Kate Adams, a cousin of General Robert E Lee, a stately woman, some twenty years younger than her fiancé, took place. Helen Adams Keller was born in Tuscumbia, an agricultural town in Northwest Alabama and the family resided in a small whitewashed weatherboard house, a remnant built in 1820 by the grandparents and considered not worth to destroy by the Union Army.
Although not totally devastated the family could not be called wealthy. Arthur Keller owned a cotton plantation, Ivy Green, and to enhance the family's income, was the editor of the North Alabamian, a small local weekly newspaper. To increase their income, Kate, besides her farming duties as the lady of Ivy Green, produce preserved foods to sell. Both Helen's parents were well erudite as Arthur also originates from an educated family in Germany.
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Early years:
Turning from infancy to toddler, at 19 months of age, Helen contracted an illness, which modern medical practitioners diagnosed as probably meningitis. She was not expected to survive but the joy of her recovery was short lived. Kate soon realized her daughter’s eye site and hearing was destroyed by her recent sickness.
Helen was left in a dark silent world accompanied by the psychological effects and the consequential rebellion. Relatives, not realizing the effects of such enclosure, advised she be put in an asylum because of her anti social behavior. Later she wrote: "I felt as if invisible hands were holding me. I made frantic efforts to free myself". The love, tenacity and erudition of the Keller's, after learning of Laura Bridgman's successful education by Samuel Gridley Howe at Perkins Institution recorded in “American Notes” by Charles Dickens, however choose the scientific approach, and in Baltimore was advised to contact the famous inventor, Alexander Graham Bell. Bell referred them to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in South Boston, Massachusetts. Their curriculum was personal training by one teacher to one pupil and subsequently Michael Anagnos the director of this asylum recommended Anne Sullivan, a former pupil, to become Helen's trainer, which developed into a friendship and companionship, a connection that lasted for 49 years.
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The teacher:
Anne Sullivan, who lost most of her eyesight (1871) when she was five years of age from trachoma, originated from a poor Irish immigrant family with very unstable background, and after being abandoned, placed in an almshouse (1876) as a state charge. During 1880 she was accepted by the Perkins Institute for the Blind and after two operations her sight was greatly improved. She was educated at Perkins Institute until she relocated to the Keller's estate on 3rd March 1887, as teacher to the 7 year old deaf blind mute, Helen Keller, her live's assignment.
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The training:
Lessons, started with finger spelling accompanied with objects such as a “doll” and “cake” to stimulate the remaining sense of taste and feeling, initially was not successful. Helen ate with her hands instead with cutlery, presumably because of the little senses left, to feel what she eat, which was not understood at the time and not acceptable.
To break down the patterns laid down earlier of rebellion, teacher and pupil moved into a little garden flat on the estate in isolation from the family. To mastered this rebellious will, a Herculaneum battle of the wills rage for several days, but at the end Anne Sullivane won. Little 7 year old Helen Keller was perceived as being totally undisciplined, but with the knowledge we know posses, we know this behavioral pattern is born out of frustration because of not being able to express one self. To overcome the screaming rebellion Anne at first held the child down for several hours, and later started to discipline Helen by withholding finger tap communication and to instill decent living habits. Anne remarked "Her untaught, unsatisfied hands destroy whatever they touch because they do not know what else to do with things" and "Her restless spirit gropes in the dark". Anne noticed Helen already had several ways of indicating her wishes.
The first success on the 5th of April 1887 and following remarkable progress, was made when Helen realized the running water on her one hand and the finger tapping from Anne on her dry palm was related. Anne immediately knew Helen realized the connection between the finger signs and the water. Helen later recounted the incident: “We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honey-suckle with which it was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other, the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten, a thrill of returning thought, and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me.”
Until the end of that day Helen master 30 more words. The way for her to express, now was open. Anne Sullivan introduced the alphabet first by raised letters and words with the object next to it. Anne wrote: "When her fingers light on words she knows, she fairly screams with pleasure and hugs and kisses me for joy. When I gave her my Braille slate to amuse her, the little witch was soon writing letters. I had no idea she knew what a letter was." Her vocabulary and understanding was expanded to distinguish between animals, plants and daily objects. With clay, strings and other objects she explained the earth and its regions. With beans she taught Helen to count and do arithmetic. Her pencil writing in a short space of time was excellent. She later taught Helen how to use a Braille typewriter and to type on a normal typewriter. Anne also tried to teach Helen to speak with limited success as only the immediate family could understand what she expressed.
Helen and Anne in 1888 moved to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in South Boston, Massachusetts where all study material in Braille was available and the added benefit of interconnection with other children who used Braille and the manual alphabet. In 1890 Helen learned about a deaf, dumb and blind Norwegian girl who was taught to speak. She urged Anne: " I must speak".
After speaking to Miss Sarah Fuller, principal of the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston, Helen attended speech therapy as presented by Miss Fuller, by with the finger tips feeling the lips, teeth and tong position and picking up vibration on the throat while expressing vocals and the other sounds of speech. After the first lesson, she was able to correctly vocalized the words mamma and papa "almost musical sweetness from her lips". On the trem-car going home after the 7th lesson of articulation she said in "hollow, breathy tones" "I am not dumb now." She attended 11 lesson at Miss Fuller, the beginning of a lifelong tussle with speech. The results were hailed as "the greatest individual achievement in the history of education."
Michael Anagnos, learning about the remarkable progress, promoted Helen in several of his articles and they became good friends. These publications led to newspapers placing Helen in the eye of the public and she overnight became a celebrity. She was reintroduced to Alexander Graham Bell, and invited to visit President Cleveland at the White House.
It was at Perkins that she wrote her first essay “The Frost King” in 1891 at the age of 11 years as a birthday present to Michael Anagnos. He, very impressed, published it as of literary importance in an article but it was found to be plagiarism as it was the same as “The Frost fairies” by Margaret Canby. Medical scientist today proposed that Helen might have suffered from text encephalon syndrome where the sufferer store text in the subconscious mind and has no recollection of actually reading or hearing the text previously. The accompanied disgrace however resulted in Michael Anagnos withdrawing himself and the end of their friendship. Helen's integrity being pressed, had difficulty to continue to write, for fear not knowingly to slip again. She always carried the doubt of thoughts she expresses, being from her own mind. During their stay at Perkins Institute for the Blind, Mary Swift Lamson again attempted to teach Helen speech.
She and Anne in 1894 then, specifically to improve her speech, attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf at New York City, set up by Dr Thomas Humason and John D Wright. She has never ceased to labor over her voice, to make speeches in public and to conduct much of her conversation by direct speech.
More learning was needed for the ever hungry mind of Helen Keller and they enrolled in “The Cambridge School for Young Ladies” at Massachusetts in 1896 to 1900 and at the age of almost 20 year's Helen enrolled at Radcliffe College and sponsored by Henry Huttleton Rogers of “Standard Oil” fame, the first deaf-blind person in history, to gain admittance in an institution of higher education. They found it arduous and the magnitude of material to consume led to further decadency of Anne's sight. Throughout her life Helen was the student and she mastered to read via Braille - English, French, German, Greek and Latin.
It was during this period that Anne Sullivan met her future husband, John Albert Macy, who edited Helen's first book, the classic “The Story of My Life” and published in 1903. Helen Keller at the age of 24, the first ever deaf-blind person to graduate at a higher educational institution, graduate with special honors in English from Radcliffe College in 1904. This feat open the door in the form of requests for appearances and articles and she was invited to St. Louise Exposition, her first public expression in aid of education for the deaf-blind. On the day of the exposition dedicated to her, the crowd, over excited by Helen, snatched the roses from her hat and she returned home with a ripped dress.
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Into the world:
After the marriage of Macy and Anne the three of them lived together at Wrentham in Massachusetts where she wrote “The world I live in” (1907). In this book, some of her inner thoughts were revealed. Also in 1907, Helen wrote an article, published in The Ladies' Home Journal, to prevent infancy blindness, by treating as regular procedure, all infant's eyes at birth, against possible venereal infections.
It was during this period that Macy introduced Helen to socialist political doctrine and she became a member of the Socialist Party of Massachusetts in 1909. Given Anne's background and being the major influence in Helen's formative years, circumstances made it a lot easier for Macy to lobby the two girls. Helen revealed her political opinions by writing a serial publication of analytic or interpretive literary composition on socialism namely “Out of the dark” and it was published during 1913. In this year she made her first public-speaking appearance as she recalled; "My mind froze". In 1914, because of the workload, they employed "a brisk and capable young Scottish girl, Polly Thomson as a secretary and manager" 1. To enhance her speech she took special lessons with a music teacher. During 1914 they set out on the first of a number of tour visiting almost every state in the US. They lectured by Anne, translating one sentence at a time and answering questions at the end of the lecture in addition to her oral lectures. They drew full houses wherever they performed and they earned as much as $2,000 per week, which was amicable at the time. It must be stressed that the aim of these tours, never had financial profit as its main concern, but rather the cause of the vulnerable as primary goal.
She became an activist and from 1909 to 1920 she supported and accompanied Eugene V Debs on each of his campaigns as Socialist candidate for the presidency. In 1912 she joined the “Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)” union and champion their cause, writing articles between 1916 and 1918 “Why I became an IWW” revealing her concern for the Blind and the Deaf.
Laws to protect factory workers, as in fact all Americans, always were in place in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but the enforcement thereof and corruption in general destroyed the meaning of the law and exploitation of the underprivileged and poor were rive. Her condition, and tenacity to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, made her the perfect champion for the exploited. The woman, who has met all the presidents of the United States of America, from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B Johnson, was depicted by the antithesis as a deaf-blind mute again, and she remarked “Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent”. Al this took place in an era of great turmoil, The Great War (1914-1918), The Russian Revolution (1917-1989), the Great Flue (1918-1820) and Economic Instability, conditions that always annihilates the vulnerable first.
A nonprofit organization, the “Helen Keller International” was founded by her in 1915. This organization's major objective was to prevent blindness, rather than to cure it. She publicly supported the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) by promoting their cause in an article published in a 1917 NAACP Journal. She also donated money to this cause at this event.
In 1918 Helen, Anne and Macy relocated to Forest Hills, New York and the residence were used as a base from where they launched their activities to raise funds for the “American Foundation for the Blind”. She was, as with everything else she undertook, actively involved with the foundation of the ACLU to fight for freedom of speech in 1918. She actively advocate not only the cause but also the environment of the Blind. Her input has been attributed as the main motivation for the changes that has been instigated until today, to normalize the Blind and the Deaf in Society. Helen accepted the opportunity to enlighten Society by the production of a film “Deliverance” in 1919, which depicted her life until then, but was dissatisfied by the outcome. She always thought that the truth of the plight was weakened by the glamour of the film industries. By this time, negative media coverage inhibited their tours in America and she struggled to get any publishers willing to invest in her books however these negative media coverage's brought her fame beyond the US, and she received invitations to address assemblies in Europe, Japan, Africa and they toured 39 countries all over the globe.
In 1921, Kate, Helen's mother died and her only concomitant, Anne Sullivan in 1922 became ill. From there on Polly Thomson, their secretary did the interpreting when needed on stage.
Helen in 1924 started to work for “the American Federation for the Blind”.In this year she also crusades in the presidential election of 1924 for Robert Lafollette, a Progressive candidate, as a third option.
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Hectic days:
Helen kept on touring the world, advocating her believes in a fair society, and during the “Great Depression” at Buckingham Palace, met the English Royalty, King George and Queen Mary in 1931. It was reported that they were truly impressed by Helen's skill to hear what people said through the touch of her fingers.
Macy and Anne Sullivan’s marriage had broken down earlier and since the death of John Albert Macy in 1934 Anne's health had deteriorated until she succumbed on the 20th of October 1936. Helen and Polly relocated to Arcan Ridge, Westport, Connecticut, which became her home until the end of her life. The original home after World War II, together with all her Americana and the manuscript of a book “Teacher”, to commemorate Anne Sullivan, was destroyed by fire while they were on tour, although later rebuilt.
Helen and her companion Polly, toured Japan, and in July 1937 was presented with a dog, inherent from the island of Japan, the “Akita” Breed. This dog however died within a month, and later in July 1939, the Japanese government presented her with another dog from the same breed as an official gift. Helen was attributed as the main force for establishing this breed in the US and in 1938 the standards for the breed was established.
During World War II, their movements were severely restricted but after the war, Helen and Polly traveled the world as vigorously as before, raising funds for the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind. Their extended tours included Japan, Australia, South America, Europe and Africa and while touring Japan, Polly Thomson had a minor stroke. They were informed to curb their program, but after Polly's sufficient recovery, they once again continued their fund raising.
An award winning full-length feature documentary film “the Unconquered” was produced in 1953. The film depicted the life of Helen Adams Keller and was a resounding success. In this year Helen started to rewrite the fire destroyed manuscript “the Teacher” of Anne Sullivan's life, which was published in 1955 .
In 1957 Polly Thomson, who at this stage had been working with Helen for 43 years, had another stroke, from which she never recovered again. It was during this year that a play called “The Miracle Worker” derived from Helen's book “The Teacher” was performed, portraying the teachings of Anne Sullivan to the 7 year old deaf-blind mute, Helen Keller. It was first performed as a live television play. An extravagantly enthusiastic review was hailed over the remodeled television play to the very successful Broadway production in 1959, and was performed highly successfully the following two years. On the 21st of March 1960 Polly Thomson succumbed from her earlier stroke and her ashes were laid to rest with Anne Sullivan's, at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.
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The end of the Road:
After a full life of great accomplishment in any humans' mind, Helen's public life, drew to an end in October 1961, after the first of a series of strokes. Winnie Corbally, who nursed Polly now took over the care of Helen at her home in Arcan Ridge for the remainder of her life. The Broadway production of “The Miracle Worker” produced as a film in 1962 in which both the leading actors portraying Anne and Helen were rewarded with Oscars for their performances.
In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson commended Helen Adams Keller with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The United States of America's highest civilian award. She was also honored to the Woman's Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair in 1965.
Her ashes reside with her lifelong companions, Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, after she has passed peacefully away in her sleep 26 days before her 88th birthday.
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Honorarium posthumous:
The State of Alabama Honored Helen Adams Keller, a native of this state on it's state quarter in 2003.
The Helen Keller Hospital is dedicated to her.
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What legacy did Helen Keller left to the world?
Activist?

Although a socialist herself for the sake of socialism, she denounced the ruthless self-serving brutality of communism as practiced in the 21st century and was well aware of the fact that even though she was severely hampered, she owed her successes, partly due to inherited privileges, stating: "I have learned that the power to rise is not within the reach of everyone" and "I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment". This realization made her the perfect champion of the poor and disenfranchised.
In New York City's slums, she witnessed the horrible conditions and the exploitation of tenants, purely because of greed by the owners. Horified about the unhealthy, crowded circumstances and angered by child labor exploitation, she skilled herself to unionize pressure groups and how to minimize the brutal suppressive methods applied by authorities. Of society in 1912 she demanded: "Why in this land of great wealth is there great poverty?" and "Why children toil in the mills while thousands of men cannot get work, why women who do nothing have thousands of dollars a year to spend?"

Throughout her life, she tirelessly worked to achieve social change. She was either founding or instituting, with others or taking the lead, many accountable social movements during the 20th century. Her participation in IWW, a radical union at that time, and NAACP and W.E.B., civil-rights formations was well documented in the media.

Referring to the Ludlow Massacre she publicly declared: "I have followed, step by step, the developments in Colorado, where women and children have been ruthlessly slaughtered. Mr. Rockefeller is a monster of capitalism," and she stated "He gives charity in the same breath he permits the helpless workmen, their wives and children to be shot down" after newspapers failed to publish her articles about the incident. In the Ludlow Mine Massacre, 13 striking miners were shot by the Colorado National Guard, payrolled by Rockefeller, in an attempt to break the strike and the death of 11 children and 2 women burned alive. Magnite John D. Rockefeller was the owner of the Ludlow Mine.
She wrote: "Ashamed in my very soul, I behold in my beloved south-land the tears of those oppressed, those who must bring up their sons and daughters in bondage to be servants, because others have their fields and vineyards, and on the side of the oppressor is power." as reported by DuBois revealing her financial donations.
She stated: "The future of America rests on the leaders of 80 million working men and women and their children. To end the war and capitalism, all you need to do is straighten up and fold your arms."
She observed: "So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly, calling me 'arch priestess of the sightless,' 'wonder woman,' and 'a modern miracle," and to her friend Robert La Follet: "But when it comes to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of wrong economics - that the industrial system under which we live is at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the world - that is a different matter!"
In her autobiography written in 1929 by Dorothy Herrman, Keller stated: "I resolved that whatever role I did play in life, it would not be a passive one." and later Herrman remarked: "Missing from her curriculum vitae are her militant socialism and the fact that she once had to be protected by six policemen from an admiring crowd of 2,000 people in New York after delivering a fiery speech protesting America's entry into World War I. The war, she told her audience, to thunderous applause, was a capitalist ploy to further enslave the workers. In her lifetime, Helen Keller's public image remains one of an angelic, sexless, deaf-blind woman who is smelling a rose as she holds a Braille book open on her lap."
She totally abhor the media's image of her and made sure those she dealt with knew her stance as witnessed by Robert Irwin executive director of The American Foundation for the blind complained to a trustee: "Helen Keller's habit of playing around with Communists and near-Communists has long been a source of embarrassment to her conservative friends. Please advise!"
Helen attacked society: “Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent”
She pointed out: “I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.”
Is the phrase activist for identifying social exploitation and neglect really the correct term? Is it not rather a real concern for those that cannot defend themselves against greed and misprision? After thorough research my conception is that she never was an activist in the true sense of the word, but rather a lobbyist. Yes, she did support the candidacy of socialist Eugene V Debs, and yes she wrote the articles “Out of the dark”, but was it not to support the antithesis. And today with hind site, to what conclusion can we come to? Only one, her strategy was brilliant. She succeeded in every goal she set herself. Today, the society we live in is completely different from the one she battled with.

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Lobbyist:
She spoke with governors, presidents, prime ministers and kings alike, not missing an opportunity to promote the cause of the vulnerable.
She convinced industrialists and scientist to open their hands and minds, and they did.
Many an institution was established or survived because of her intervention.
Laws were instituted and refined to protect and to prevent social exploitation.
New technology and devices were invented and most important of all, the broader society's view, about the Deaf and the Blind, and their ability to live as equals, has been reformed to one of understanding, appreciation, admiration and respect.
To influence political reform was at the core of her commitment. In this she was not alone as she stated: "I have never felt separated from my fellow men by the silent dark," she wrote. "Any sense of isolation is impossible since the doors of my heart were thrown open and the world came in." and her actions were all the proof her fellow combatants experienced.
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Author
The author of 5 books published:

“The Story of My Life” - 1903 (an autobiography until age 21 - first in a series of articles in The Ladies' Home Journal)

“The world I live in” - 1907
“Midstream: My Later Life” - 1929
“Journey into Light” - 1951
“the Teacher” - 1955
“Light in my Darkness” - 1960
and author of numerous articles and lectures including:
Prevention of infancy blindness (1907) “The Ladies' Home Journal”
“How I became a Socialist” (1913)
“Out of the dark” - Essays, Letters, and Addresses on Physical and Social Vision (1913) later collected in a volume.
“The Ludlow Coal Mine Massacre” (1915)
animal lover:
“Akita” Breed – established 1938
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Suffragist:
In 1909 Helen became a “Suffragist”.
Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning "vote") means an advocate of the extension of voting rights (especially to women)
Again regarded as an activist, Helen Keller's adversary against “The Great War” (1914) and the amalgamation of commercial enterprises as well as her passionate plea for suffrage led to hesitation of her articles being published by papers. Only at the Nineteenth Amendment of The Suffrage Act in 1920 did most of the states in the United States of America allowed women to vote. She however continued to propagate the right to vote in states which still declined to grant this basic right and she expanded her support to include people of color.
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Pacifist:
At a full house in Carnegie Hall in 1914 she delivered a passionate plea to end hostilities in Europe. This took place at a demonstration by the Woman's Peace Party. On this occasion she remonstrates society's stance on social welfare and advocates pacifism and socialism.
In 1946 after visiting wounded soldiers she referred to the needless slaughter and bloodshed directly attributed to power mongers and greed. In 1948 referring to, Hiroshima and Nagasaki after atomic attack, as “the black silent hole”, she again confirms her abhorrence to war. She commented: the recounts on that horrible occurrence “scorched a deep scar” in her soul and re-committed determination to oppose “the demons of atomic warfare” and “for peace”.
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Birth control:
Her research and the article in The Ladies' Home Journal, led to her firm believe in controlling the consequences of unhealthy activities. To back up the work of Margaret Sanger, in 1912 she publicly promoted birth control.
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Friend:

Besides the life long friendships of Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson, most everybody along the road, had the urge to befriend this remarkable uncorrupted person, Helen Keller. Because of her condition, in the forming of her own character, she was never exposed to the real vises of this world, and her discernment was pure and without motive for herself.

The circle of friends who choose to be associated with her includes many famous figures as in the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, the comedian Charlie Chaplin and the famous American writer Mark Twain.
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Champion:
In Helen’s own words:
“The public must learn that the blind man is neither genius nor a freak nor an idiot. He has a mind that can be educated, a hand which can be trained, ambitions which it is right for him to strive to realize, and it is the duty of the public to help him make the best of himself so that he can win light through work.”
Although she became known by the extraordinary feats she accomplished to pioneer a normal life from an almost hopeless position, she deserves the admiration of what she accomplished as a human. All the organizations she was involved in, the message she conveyed and the hope she brought is the testimony to her character. She described herself as self-reliant and independent "a human being with a mind of my own."
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Epitaph
What memorial can we erect for this remarkable person?

Courageous?
In promoting her believes in social justice, she tirelessly endeavor to enhance her speech throughout her life, to publicly voice her concerns against exploitation and injustice to the vulnerable. Even though she was terrified of crowds and embarrassed by her speech, she persevered: "Terror invaded my flesh, my mind froze, my heart stopped beating. I kept repeating, 'What shall I do? What shall I do to calm this tumult within me?'" and she experienced it as attending her own hanging.


"Her Braille Bible is still her most valued possession. She knows great stretches by heart. She reads in the dark or the daylight, like all the blind, who sleep poorly and do not know night from day.
Helen Keller is deeply spiritual. Her faith sustains her in the quiet hours when she retreats into the deep silence that only the deaf, blind and mute can know. 'I look forward to the world to come' she says, 'where all physical limitations will drop from me like shackles; where I shall again find my beloved Teacher, and engage joyously in greater service than I have yet known'" (4) 1951.

She truly was an activist, a disciple of the greatest Activist of all time.

What is courage's? What is true courage? To execute deeds, to the sole benefit of others without motive to the self and not regarding ones own position even though one has not got the ability or means or the training.

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Resources:
1.
Lawlor, Laurie. 2001. Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit. (New York: Holiday House). A new biography for adolescents with excellent photographs to document Keller's life.
2.
Herrman, Dorothy. 1989. Helen Keller: A Life. (Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press). A fine recent biography that covers her adult life as well as her famous childhood.
3.
Keller, Helen. 1929. Midstream: My Later Life. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday). Helen Keller's fascinating autobiography as an adult gives readers a taste of her writing voice, her passionate beliefs, and her social convictions.
4.
Ross, Ishbel. The steady light of Helen Keller, © 1951
5.
Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller