(Did I mention I'm really phobic about grizzly bears? And am prone to writerly jags of exaggeration?)
I do love female pluck, and fell in love with the subjects of an essay Oxford American asked me to write on the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. My favorite line from their song "Jump Children":
I may be small but baby have no fear...I can climb a hill without shifting gears.
The Sweethearts were the first racially-integrated, all female swing band. Here are some highlights: They started out mostly as orphans learning second hand instruments in a vocational school in rural Mississippi. After some measure of exploitation, they actually ran away with the bus and instruments and went pro. Because the band had both white and black members (and Chinese, Hawaiian, etc), Jim Crow laws prohibited them from performing - but the white girls permed their hair and put on dark make-up and went on anyway.
Humor me and read this essay - I want more people to know about the Sweethearts. They have cut deep into my imagination, and certainly earned my respect.