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Cherokee Female Seminary graduating class, 1902

Cherokee Female Seminary graduating class, 1902. Photo Credit: Oklahoma Historical Society, Jennie Ross Cobb Collection, 20661.14.

The Life and Legacy of Cherokee Photographer Jennie Ross Cobb

April 5, 2023

The Life and Legacy of Cherokee Photographer Jennie Ross Cobb

Ask Students: Who was Jennie Ross Cobb? What were some causes she supported? Why is it important for her to be spotlighted?

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Summary

This past Women’s History Month, the NewsHour spotlighted figures whose contributions have often gone ignored by powerful players in society, including political leaders, book publishers and news editors. Let’s look back at the work of Jennie Ross Cobb, pioneering Cherokee woman photographer, who captured personal images of her community.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who was Jennie Ross Cobb?
  • What were some causes she supported?
  • Where can you see some of her photographs?
  • How is photography different now compared to when Ross Cobb taking photographs?
  • Why is it important for Ross Cobb to be spotlighted?

Focus Questions

How can you find out more about untold, under-appreciated women in history? Why is this important to do?

Media Literacy: The NewsHour’s story stated, “This Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting figures whose contributions have often gone unseen.” Why do you think the producers chose to use the word “unseen”? Who are the people who did not see the achievements of women such as Jennie Ross Cobb? What do you think of “unseen” as a word choice? Why or why not?

Extension Activity

Discuss with a friend or neighbor why women like Jennie Ross Cobb were ignored by lawmakers (often charged with celebrating individuals in their state, book publishers and journalists? Their job is to find stories, so what do you think happened that so many women got left out of newspaper stories and books? Skim the following three recent stories about inspirational women and write down similarities and differences between each one. Then discuss how we can do a better job recognizing, appreciating and celebrating women.

More Resources: Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans

Share My Lesson is your go-to resource for indigenous peoples and Native American lesson plans with this free PreK-12 collection of resources.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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