February was a good month for gender representation in Google Doodles. Here in the U.S., Harriet Tubman was honored and 50% of the month’s Doodles were dedicated to women. Around the world, Doodles honored Raicho Hiratsuka, Clara Campoamor, Sarojini Naidu, and Gabriele Münter. That’s exactly what I want to see!
Here are a few more of the Doodle-Worthy Women whose birthdays fall in February:
— E.L. Konigsburg, born February 10, 1930, was one of my favorite authors, and passed away this most recent April. Konigsburg wrote primarily for children and young adults, and has won four of the most prestigious awards in that field: 2 Newbery Medals, the Phoenix Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She’s the author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and is known for writing female protagonists and for challenging her readers to think outside their own world.
– Catalina “Katy” de la Cruz, born February 13, 1907, was a singer and sometimes actress known as the Queen of Filipino Jazz. de la Cruz was an early performer of the Filipino vaudeville style, known as “bodabil,” which blended singing, comedy, and short skits. She was especially fond of, and known for, “torch songs,” those focused on love that has been lost or never reciprocated. Becoming well-known in the bodabil circuit propelled de la Cruz to headlining opportunities in Manila’s most prestigious theater. By the time she was 18, her popularity on stage had made her the highest-paid performer in the country, and she adapted to the influx of new singing styles, including jazz and scat. de la Cruz went on to tour the world and to host her own stage show in Las Vegas. She’s also the subject of a musical about her life and career, called “Katy!”
– Nina Simone, born February 21, 1933, was a singer-songwriter who was nominated for 15 Grammys and won a Grammy Hall of Fame award. She got her start as a pianist and throughout her career brought classical fusion to the genres of jazz, blues, and pop music. She was most well-known for combining these genres, and more, into a unique style that only she could pull off. Simone’s work defied categorization and she always defied expectations. During the civil rights era, Simone’s songs became an outlet for her activism; during this period she wrote and released a series of songs highlighting the violence and discrimination faced by African-Americans through a narrative, storytelling approach. Eventually, the racial injustices perpetuated throughout the United States provoked her to move overseas. Simone eventually settled in France, and continued to record albums and to tour until her death in 2003. Simone is also an inductee to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.