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KatharineHepburn, Fred Korematsu, and Harvey Milk are important figures whostrived to create social change. The three participated in varyingways to bring about change within the societies they lived in.Sexism, Racism among others are just some of the societal issues theytried to address. This paper will look to discuss the differentaspects by which the three individuals helped to address. By givingan in depth analysis of each individual, the paper will clearlyillustrate why they are still remembered and more so why theyreceived presidential Medal of Freedom. The different mechanismsutilized by the three to achieve the anticipated results will also bediscussed.


KatherineHepburn was born in 12thMay 1907. She is regarded as one the best American actress withfierce independence as well as spirited personality. For over 60years, she performed at the highest stage in various genres i.e.comedy, drama among others. Owing to her exemplary skills, she scopedfour Academy awards as the best actress. Through her acting sheredefined traditional ideologies of the role of women in the society.She encountered a lot throughout her acting career but was able totypify women independence even in the film industry.

Shehad an unconventional attitude throughout her acting career. In thatregard, Hollywood questioned her strong personality andunconventional attitude. In one instance, she walked in the studiowithout her clothes, typically in an underwear after the costumedepartment stole her slacks. According to the costume department,slacks were somehow boyish and uncouth. In her sentiments, shethought obeying all the rules impacts negatively to the aspect offun. She also refused to play traditional off-screen roles asHollywood starlet. Wearing makeup was also not part of her interest.She never gave interviews nor bask in media attention.

Katherineachieved a lot in a male dominated field. As a matter of fact, shemanaged to steal the show from leading male actors such as SpenserTracy, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Cary Grantand Humprey Bogart among others. The fact that she commanded lots offollowers in a male dominated field is worth commendation. FollowingKatherine’s story, it is evident she fought for women equalityespecially in the filming sector. Her expeditions illustrated howwomen could succeed male dominated fields. Her refusal to playtraditional roles explains much of what she championed [ CITATION Van11 l 1033 ].

Herrelationship with the media was rather intricate. She never used togive interviews. In some instances, she would dodge the public toavoid giving autographs. The relationship with the media did not seemto hurt her much. She tried as much as she could to evade thelimelight and be drowned into media attention [ CITATION AET16 l 1033 ].


FredKorematsu was born on the 30thday of January 1919 in Oakland, California. He was among theJapanese-American citizens living within the United States. Being ofJapanese heritage he faced numerous challenges living in the UnitedStates at the onset of World War II. Korematsu lost a number of jobsdue to the fact he was a “jap” slang for Japanese. Most of thesetribulations were due to the attack on Pearl Harbor where manyAmericans lost their lives. Japanese were henceforth targeted invarious perspectives. At one instance, Korematsu was fired after hisemployer realized he was a “jap”. These unfair acts made himstronger until he began retaliating.

Korematsuwas fighting against racial acts that tended to discriminate againstJapanese people living within the United States. The militaryliterally prohibited Japanese Americans from traversing some areasand most of them were deported back to their native lands. These waspure racism. Korematsu was born and raised in the U.S. Therefore, hehad all the rights to move freely. Contravening his free movement dueto racism was deemed socially unjust. Taking the United States headon created a social change that is evident even today [ CITATION Art12 l 1033 ].

Aftertrying unsuccessfully to evade the military by changing name to ClydeSarah, underwent plastic surgery and even claimed to be Hawaiian andSpanish, he was caught by police. He tirelessly fought againstdiscriminations and was criminalized for various offenses. Some ofhis Japanese counterparts criticized him, and thought he was thetroublemaker of the group. He was jailed in numerous occasions fordifferent offenses but that did not deter him from speaking what hethough was the truth [ CITATION Ton07 l 1033 ].

Thecourt’s decision to side with the military actions that involvedarresting Korematsu were heavily criticized by the civillibertarians. His efforts to fight for fair treatment of everybodyespecially of Japanese origin or rather avoid racism were recognizedby President Bill Clinton who gave Korematsu the Presidential Medalof Freedom.


HarveyMilk was born on the 22ndday of May 1930 in New York. He is known as the most open LGBTofficial. His personal life remained secret until he was around 40when he began associating with other members of the sect. His voiceas a leader and activist rose steadily necessitating his move intopolitics.

Apartfrom targeting gay rights, his plans to tackle so many other issuessuch as child care, housing and civilian police assessments amongothers won him a sit. He became the first open gay officer to bechosen into the United States offices. During his short tenure, anumber of gay rights bills were passed as a means of achievingequity. His actions drew numerous criticisms with others deeming itprofessionally uncouth. However, he continued to advocate for gayrights. His past experience that included living a secretive life wasa major influence into his support of gay rights. He was laterassassinated and many people to date believe he died a martyr in thegay’s perspective [ CITATION AET161 l 1033 ].


Thethree individuals mentioned all championed or rather advocated forcertain kinds of rights. Katherine exemplified the power of women bysucceeding in a male dominated field. On the other hand, Harvey wasseen as a gay martyr owing to his advocacy of gay rights. Korematsustill remains one of the most respected personality in the fightagainst racism. All these three persons are quite influential on howcurrent decisions are made pertaining their respective social issue.


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