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The New York Times Obituaries Get an Overhaul (And It’s a Good Thing)

New York Times Obituaries Get an Overhaul (And It’s a Good Thing) | NextTribe

The New York Times (aka The Gray Lady) has a new way of handling their obituaries, which we think deserves a round of applause. Acknowledging that too often it has only run tributes to the lives of white men, the newspaper is trying to course-correct with a feature called “Overlooked No More.”

Here, the Times turns back the clock and salutes notable female lives, including Qiu Jin, a revolutionary Chinese feminist, and Ida Wells, a pioneering black journalist who crusaded against lynching.

Since NextTribe is focusing on food this month, we also want to mention another woman whose life is chronicled in this column: Ruth Wakefield, who lived from 1903 to 1977. Her contribution to our culture is a delicious one. In the 1930s, she and her husband owned and ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, where she developed a certain cookie you may have heard of—the Toll House Chocolate Chip, later popularized by Nestle. There are conflicting stories about whether the chocolate bits were added to the dough in the hopes that they’d stay intact or whether Wakefield had assumed they’d melt and create a uniform chocolate color and flavor.

Whatever the case, millions of people are in her debt.

In addition to appreciating Wakefield’s ingenuity, let’s thank The New York Times for coming up with this excellent way to look back and salute previously unsung female heroes.

Janet Siroto

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