Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Speak

An intriguing historical artifact found floating on YouTube like driftwood. Helen Keller — inspiration to generations and inspiration for an entire genre of schoolyard humor — and her teacher and friend Anne Sullivan in a clip from 1930 in which they describe the way in which Helen learned how to speak. I’m always delighted when I find things like this as, many times, these people exist in a time that I feel is so far removed from my own that I cannot conceive of them actually existing in a real living, breathing form; which may or may not be due to an imagination stunted by an over-saturation of electronic media. It’s a fascinating little clip which pays homage to a woman who, even beyond her amazing circumstances, was a radical socialist, suffragist, and supporter of birth control, who was friends with the likes of Mark Twain and who worked tirelessly to champion the rights of both the downtrodden and the physically disabled.

9 Responses to “Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Speak”

  1. Zoetica Says:

    I almost cried watching this. Not that I, y’know, cry. I wouldn’t actually cry. Unless they were tears of jet fuel or something.

    What I mean to say is thanks, Ross – incredibly inspiring!

  2. la mome neant Says:

    This video is so intense, even in the really simple editing. I am breathless. i am not dumb now!

  3. Andy Says:

    Seeing gems like this thanks to the internet more than makes up for the drivel and dross that make up most of what I find online:)

  4. Nadya Says:

    That was wonderful, Ross. Thank you for this. Between this post and the one in which you described how the Internet found Phineas Gage, you have now brought two characters that I was fascinated with in my school years to life for me. I hope that more gems like this are uncovered as time goes by! Here’s one more from the Bust Magaizne blog… the voice of Virginia Woolf:

  5. Jamie Says:

    Man. This was awesome, thanks for sharing.

  6. Agent Double Oh-No Says:

    Her emotion is so true, so direct, so alive. Fantastic find !

  7. sighs Says:

    Wonderful – both

  8. rubyredshoes Says:

    I think that Anne Sullivan deserves more recognition than she gets, to live up to your own potential is one thing but to help someone that may have been otherwise helpless live up to theirs is incredible.

  9. Sugarblisters Says:

    Fantastic! It kills me when people argue that we have no power as individuals. What a great example to the contrary.