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Tired of dry & boring lectures?


Terry Baum brings history to life! Her ability to entertain as well as educate has excited audiences at colleges, conferences, and festivals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Morocco, South Africa, & Cuba.


"Thank you so much again for the AMAZING lecture on Ida B. Wells...Your lecture really sparked an interest for a lot of people"

Michael Martinez

Campus Activities Board, Drexel University 

Speaking Topics:


The Romance of Eleanor Roosevelt & Journalist Lorena Hickok


Lorena Hickok,  born Lesbian and dirt poor,  was the most famous woman reporter of her day and the first woman with a byline on the front page of the New York Times.  In 1932, the Associated Press assigned Hickok to cover Eleanor Roosevelt for FDR’s Presidential campaign.  On the campaign train,  the two women became lovers and constant companions. 


The love affair lasted a few years, their friendship a lifetime.   Both ER’s press conferences for women reporters and her daily column in the papers were Hick’s ideas. The relationship between the First Lady and the “First Friend” created increasing ethical challenges for Hick as a journalist – challenges that still resonate today. 


During the course of their relationship, Eleanor wrote 2,336 letters to the woman she called "Hick," and the Press nick-named "First Friend."  Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the New Deal, the letters document an intense relationship that has social and  historical impact. 


Pioneering Journalist,  Human Rights Activist & Foremother of "Black Lives Matter"


Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862.  She grew up during Reconstruction and went on to become one the most famous black  women of her time, dedicating her life to combatting prejudice and violence.

As the owner of her own newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee, Wells relentlessly investigated the shocking epidemic of lynching black men in the Jim Crow South. She was committed to exposing these horrific crimes at a time when no one else was speaking up.  Her investigations proved that white mobs routinely lynched innocent black men for alleged crimes against white women.  Wells’ in-depth reporting provoked a white mob to burn down her office and destroy her printing press.


An early leader in the Civil Rights and Suffrage movements, Wells was a founding member of the NAACP.   She continued to speak up and fight for African-Americans until she died in Chicago in 1931.  


IN THE 70's


In the 1970s, the feminist movement blossomed, and along with it, theater created by women from a feminist viewpoint.  Lilith Feminist Theater, the Bay Area’s internationally renowned women’s theater, was founded in 1974 by Terry Baum.  This was a time when, not only women, but many marginalized groups – Black, Latino, disabled among them – were starting their own theaters and using their personal stories to tell a more particular truth.  Continuing through 1985, Lilith produced many collectively created original plays and toured the U.S. and Europe to great acclaim.  Using excerpts from these plays, Terry shares this exciting and turbulent time in the history of theater. 




To write her award-winning biographical play HICK: A LOVE STORY – Based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s 2336 letters to journalist Lorena Hickok,  Terry did extensive research, including a week burrowing in the archive at the FDR Library, interviewing people who knew Hick, and reading 13 books.  She will share the unique challenges of researching and writing a biographical play and the delicate process of melding historical fact with dramatic imagination.  

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