Civil Rights Queen
Women’s Stories, Our Stories: Audiobooks for Women’s History Month

This Women’s History Month, we’re sharing the real-life stories of women who have shaken up industries and institutions—from stand-up comedy to the United States justice system—with passion, confidence, and integrity. Join us in toasting these trailblazers and earth-shakers for inspiring us all to find what we love and believe, and go towards it with gusto.

Civil Rights Queen is the first major biography of one of our most influential judges: Constance Baker Motley. Motley was an activist lawyer who became the first Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary, and her story provides an eye-opening account of the twin struggles for gender equality and civil rights in the 20th Century.

A Woman’s Life Is a Human Life is the story of the movements that transformed the politics of reproductive rights: the fight to decriminalize abortion and the campaign against sterilization abuse, at a time when sterilization was disproportionately proposed as birth control to Black, Latinx, and poor women. Their victories occurred just before and after Roe v. Wade, and their histories cast new light on the case and the fate of reproductive rights and justice today.

Author: Lamya H
Read By: Ashraf Shirazi

In Hijab Butch Blues, when Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her female teacher, she covers up her attraction by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam: when Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with the stories in the Quran, ultimately finding that the answer to her quest for community and belonging lies in owning her identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant.

Author: Lynne Olson
Read By: Lisa Flanagan

In the 1960s, the world’s attention was focused on a nail-biting race against time: a dozen ancient Egyptian temples were in danger of drowning in the floodwaters of the massive new Aswan High Dam. But the extensive press coverage at the time overlooked the gutsy French archaeologist who made it all happen: Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, the Empress of the Nile, led the charge to preserve a crucial part of Egypt’s cultural heritage, and made sure it remained in its homeland.

Author: Shawn Levy
Read By: Julienne Irons

In on the Joke is the story of the unforgettable women who knocked down the doors of stand-up comedy so other women could get a shot at a time when female comedians seemed like a punchline. This moving and hilarious account spans decades, from Moms Mabley’s rise in Black vaudeville between the world wars to Joan Rivers’s and Phyllis Diller’s ascent to stardom.

Time magazine called her “the Dancer of the Century.” Martha Graham is one of the most important artistic forces of the twentieth century, who upended dance, propelling the art form into the modern age, whose profound and pioneering influence is still being felt today. But at the heart of her work, as captured in this biography by Neil Baldwin: movement that could express inner feeling.

Dahlia Lithwick, one of the nation’s foremost legal commentators, tells the gripping and heroic story of the women lawyers who fought the racism, sexism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s presidency—and won in Lady Justice.

Young and Restless
Author: Mattie Kahn

Hear the power of teenage girls on audio, coming in June 2023. Young and Restless recounts one of the most foundational and underappreciated forces in moments of American revolution: teenage girls. From the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement to nuclear disarmament protests and the women’s liberation movement, through Black Lives Matter and school strikes for climate, Mattie Kahn uncovers how girls have leveraged their unique strengths to organize and lay serious political groundwork for movements that often sidelined them.

Want to listen with the whole family this Women’s History Month? Check out our Listening Library picks featuring powerful women, real and fictional.