Rebel Girls From Bay Area HistoryRebel Girls From Bay Area History

Rebel Girls From Bay Area History celebrates the amazing, mostly forgotten women whose lives, actions and sacrifices helped shape today’s Bay Area. They are educators, organizers, fighters, adventurers, and so much more. Founded in 2018 by its author Rae Alexandra, this KQED Arts & Culture series brings you inspiring life stories of brave women each month.

Know of a Rebel Girl From Bay Area History we should include? Contact author Rae Alexandra here.

The 1960s Women Whose Environmental Activism Saved the Bay

Sacramento’s First Black Principal Fought Tirelessly for Children of Color

The Pistol-Packing Gold Rush Gambler Who Beat Men at Their Own Game

The Woman Who Became ‘Mother India’ to Generations of South Asian Immigrants

A turn-of-the-century portrait of a middle-aged woman with dark but greying wavy hair, wearing a frilled white collar under a black dress, plus large hooped earrings.

The Single Mom Who Preserved Mexican American History in the 1800s

A beautiful blond woman with shoulder-length hair reveals a naked shoulder, arm and side, sandwiched between two large white feathers concealing the rest of her body.

The Burlesque Pioneer Who Fought Censorship and Multiple Arrests

A Chinese American woman in her twenties sits behind the steering wheel of a vintage car, wearing a smart hat and grey suit, a small bow tied at her neck.

The Chinese-American Doctor Who Raised Hell—and 1,500 WW2 Servicemen

A grainy photograph lifted from a newspaper in 1907 shows Mary Kelly, frowning slightly, wearing round spectacles, hair pulled back roughly, and holding a small American flag.

The 1906 Earthquake Survivor Who Fought For San Francisco’s Homeless Population

A Japanese woman, deep in concentration and wearing a white short-sleeved blouse and dark skirt, positions her cue on the edge of a billiards table to take a shot.

The ‘First Lady of Billiards’ Wowed 1950s San Francisco—and the Rest of the World