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

 

 

Thurs, Nov 5, 8-10 PM: Joy of Resistance to offer DVD “I Had an Abortion” & CD of best-of repro rts coverage + LIVE interview with Loretta Ross

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

A woman’s right to choose to be pregnant–or not–has has never been as threatened. A bogus investigation of Planned Parenthood is taking place in Congress and clinics across the country are being shuttered on any and every pretext.

On Thursday, November 5, 9-11 PM, Joy of Resistance will help to part the curtain of lies with the award-winning DVD “I Had an Abortion” by Gillian Aldritch and Jennifer Baumgartner. Cutting across race, age, class and religion, ten women face the camera and talk about their experiences of having an abortion during different eras and in different places and circumstances.

The film begins with Florence Rice, a Harlem, New York City woman who had an abortion in 1938 when both abortion and birth control were illegal. After the abortion she was pressured by nurses at Harlem Hospital to divulge the name of the doctor who had performed the abortion so that he could be prosecuted for his “crime” (which she would not do), under threat that she might, herself, have to face criminal charges.

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We then hear women who had abortions in the 60’s, 70’s, 90’s and 2000’s speak about them. They include well known feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Loretta Ross, as well as less famous women, like Alex Cobarrubia, a Mexican American woman from a heavily Catholic background who could not tell her mother, A’yen Tran (pictured above) who, after her abortion became a pro-choice activist; Jenny Egan, from a Mormon family, who found that by speaking out she could heal her pain and isolation (a common experience for those who speak about their abortions). The film ends with a quite large group of women who all state that they have had an abortion. More than 1.3 million women have an abortion each year in the U.S. For most of them it’s still a secret.

We’ll also offer listeners an audio CD of gems from the collection of Joy of Resistance’s coverage on this issue. These will include: clips from the very first speak-out on abortion, organized by Redstockings, in 1969, when abortion was illegal and women risked arrest to claim their experience publicly; Loretta Ross co-founder of SisterSong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, on family-planning in the Black community from the Civil War until today; an interview with RHrealitycheck investigative reporter Teddy Wilson on the backgrounds of those who put together the doctored video later used as a basis to investigate Planned Parenthood–and the late great radical feminist Ros Baxandall comparing guilt and shame about abortion in the 1970’s and now. Plus music of the abortion rights movement.

Last but not least, this program we will include a live interview with Loretta Ross, speaking on abortion within the framework of Reproductive Justice and anti abortion terrorism in relation to the rest of the far right.

The DVD “I Had an Abortion” will be offered as a “thank you” gift to those pledging $50. to WBAI to keep listener-supported non-commercial radio on the air. The CD of Joy of Resistance “best of” abortion-rights coverage will be offered to listeners for a pledge of $25.

WBAI is a free speech radio station that maintains its independence through listener support and accepts no corporate funding. It is one of the 5-station listener-supported Pacifica Radio Network that has been broadcasting progressive alternative radio for over 60 years. Please help keep it alive by going to give2wbai.org and finding out how you can become a supporter. When you pledge during Joy of Resistance, you are also showing your support for the continuation of feminist radio at WBAI.