Noor Inayat Khan defied expectations from the start. Fluent in both French and English, with Indian-American roots, she wasn’t the cookie-cutter prototype of her U.K. born peers when she joined the top-secret Special Operations Executive (SOE) spy agency at the height of World War II.
It was her, after all, who gave Roosevelt a list of conditions she expected to be met before becoming his incoming Secretary of Labor in 1933. These conditions included a minimum wage, unemployment benefits, a 40-hour work week, the abolition of child labor, social security, a public services employment program, and nation-wide health care coverage.
“Needless to say, moving to Detroit wasn’t for the faint of heart. Any African-American choosing to build roots there in 1863 would have to be tough, resilient, smart, and courageous. Fannie Richards was all that and more.”
Most of what we know about history lies at the surface, but the intricate truths of it live on in the roots.