Free to Be You and Me Celebrates 40th Anniversary!
November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
Forty years ago, Marlo Thomas and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, with the help of a group of well-known artists and writers such as Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Carol Channing, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Shel Silverstein, and Carl Reiner, released the now-famous album Free to Be You and Me.
Marlo Thomas first thought up the idea when her first granddaughter was born and she discovered that all of the books and stories she was reading for her granddaughter reinforced stereotypical gender roles of how girls should act and what boys should be. None of the stories she found discussed all of the possibilities for boys and girls, so she reached out to her friend, Gloria Steinem, who invited her to help found the Ms Foundation for Women. Steinem also put Thomas in contact with Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and 9 months later, Free to Be You and Me was released!
Free to Be You and Me aims to unencumber children of stereotypes – “to capitalize on their unique strengths and understand that whatever their gender, race, or ethnic identity, or their economic origins, they [are] free to pursue their talents and their dreams.” Happy 40th Anniversary!
– Melissa G.