Thurs, May 12, 8-10pm–“Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed”; “Who is Hillary Clinton?”; sexism and the Clinton campaign

Joy of Resistance is heard on Thursdays* 9-10 PM on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM (EST), streaming at wbai.org Follow us on twitter at @joyofresistance Email us at jor@wbai.org Donate to WBAI at give2wbai.org

Before there was Hillary Clinton… before there was Barack Obama… there was Shirley Chisholm…

On Thursday, May 12, 8-10 PM, Joy of Resistance will feature, as part of the WBAI Spring Fund Drive, the award winning DVD: Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, by Sola Lynch. Well discuss the film with Denise Oliver-Velez, a former member of both the Young Lords and Black Panther Parties , who, now, as a professor at SUNY, has taught and written about Chisholm’s life and times. Also commenting will be Barbara Winslow, founder and director of The Shirley Chisolm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism from 1945 to the Present.

Recalling a watershed event in US politics–Chisholm’s historic 1972 run for the U.S. presidency, as the first Black and the first woman to run a serious campaign for the nation’s highest office–this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the campaign and reactions to it at the time and now–and documents Chisholm’s life story.

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We see Chisholm announcing her run; giving interviews, the political maneuvering within the Democratic Party and we hear/see commentary of many involved at that time, including Amiri Baraka, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Octavia Butler, Rep. Barbara Lee, Ron Dellums and others.

Though many backed her run with great enthusiasm, she was shunned by the Democratic political establishment, including the all-male Congressional Black Caucus (with the exception of Ron Dellums) as well as the media; she asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at age 18. Chisholm’s bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, racist and sexist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive.

She was born in NYC but spent much of her childhood in Barbados. Her father was a Garveyite and her family was political. She became a professional educator in NYC and in 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress, and represented New York’s 12th Congressional District–the very poor district of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn– for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. As the first Black woman in the U.S. Congress, she was sometimes treated with disrespect by other Congress members–particularly southern white men.

The men in the Black Congressional Caucus did not support her bid for President and she famously said that she had run into more political obstacles because she was a woman than because she was Black. Some feminists did support her, but did not follow through. Ron Dellums supported her but ultimately gave his support to George McGovern, the eventual Democratic party nominee. Jesse Jackson ignored her. She didn’t play by either Democratic succession or ethnic turf rules.

“Nobody was “ready” for me”, she said. “But somebody has to be the first. After me, they’ll be more “ready”. In an interview at the end of the film that took place late in her life, Chisholm says “I want to be remembered as someone who was a catalyst for change.” And so she was.

In the second part of the show, we’ll offer the book: “Who is Hillary Clinton?” featuring two decades of writing from the Left on the woman who may very well be our next president. Authors include Erica Jong, Barbara Ehrenreich and Doug Henwood, with an introduction by Katha Pollitt of The Nation. 350 pages. For a pledge to WBAI of $75.

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This segment will also feature a discussion with Amanda Marcotte, Peg Rapp and Fran Luck on the sexism directed at Clinton so far in the campaign–sexism that would be directed at any woman getting really close to power. We’ll be asking the questions: where you draw the line between legitimate political criticism and sexism?–and what are the different manifestations of sexism by men on the right and men on the left?

Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed

A film by Shola Lynch

Available for a pledge to WBAI for $75.

Chisolm ’72 and “Who is Hillary Clinton?” available, both together, for a pledge of $125.

US, 2004, 77 minutes, Color, DVD,

AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

Peabody Award

Sundance Film Festival

International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA)

Los Angeles Film Festival

San Francisco International Film Festival

London Film Festival

South By Southwest Film Festival

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Saratoga Springs Film Festival

Dallas Video Festival

Northern Lights Film Festival

Tallgrass Film Festival

Black Harvest Film Festival

American Black Film Festival

Lake Placid Film Festival

Nantucket Film Festival

Women With Vision Film Festival

 

 

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March 24, 9-10pm: Wanting a woman president/wishing we had more choices–Lauren Besser: “If Bernie had been Bernadette”; Heidi Hartmann: “campaigning while female”; & female-friendly Parliaments around the world

Joy of Resistance is heard on Thursdays* 9-10 PM on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM (EST), streaming at wbai.org Follow us on twitter at @joyofresistance Email us at jor@wbai.org Donate to WBAI at give2wbai.org

Guests: Lauren Besser, author of the much read blogpost “If Bernie Had Been Bernadette; Heidi Hartmann, President and Founder of IWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research) on “campaigning while female” in the U.S.

After 227 years+ of male-exclusive presidency, many in the U.S. would like to see, at long last, a woman president. At the same time there are valid reasons to criticize the woman who, for the first time in history, has a good chance of attaining that presidency (as well as many reasons to praise her)–Hillary Rodham Clinton. This places feminists in a terrible bind–should we publicly criticize the first possibly successful woman presidential candidate–and thereby discourage people from voting for her–when we don’t know when/if another woman will  have a shot at this highest office within our lifetimes? In many other countries we would not have to be in this bind because we would have more choices of female candidates at all levels.

Woman heads-of-state: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Angela Merkel (Germany)

In many other countries we would have more choices of women candidates for all offices. The U.S ranks 33rd when it comes to women in national legislatures and has never had a woman head-of-state. Countries with higher proportions of women’s representation–at all levels–tend to have certain characteristics in their electoral systems: by and large these are parliamentary systems, with proportional representation, where there is money set aside for the promotion of women –and many have quotas for women candidates (and other politically disadvantaged groups).

In the first part of our show, we’ll discuss the bind that many left-of-center women find themselves in,  with Lauren Besser, whose recent article “If Bernie Had Been Bernadette” has been causing quite a stir.

Our next guest will be Heidi HartmannPresident and Founder of IWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research) on “campaigning while female” in the U.S. We’ll discuss how our own 2-party, winner-take-all system places many obstacles in the paths of women candidates.

If time permits, we’ll play an excerpt from a debate that took place in Jamaica, when Senator Imani Duncan Price of the Jamaican Senate has proposed quotas for female candidates to promote parity with men.

We’ll also have our Feminist News Headlines Roundup, and, if time permits, listener phone calls at 718 780 8888, toward the end of the show.