COVID, Race and Democracy

International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, March 8, 2021

Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer, police mug shot taken June 9, 1963 in the Montgomery County Jail in Winona, Mississippi, where Mrs. Hammer was beaten so badly that she lost sight in one eye and suffered permanent kidney damage that shortened her life. It did not stop her struggle to free Black people in Mississippi.

On March 8, millions around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. Women have always been at the frontlines of defending their communities. Carrie Dann fought to protect  the ancestral, traditional Western Shoshone land in central Nevada. The land was formally recognized by the United States under the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, which was never honored. Carrie Dann was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.

A group of women hailing from various sectors in the arts and activism communities have joined forces with the award-winning Chicago-based nonprofit arts presenter HotHouse and publisher Haymarket Books to curate and present an online cultural event to mark International Women’s Day. We hear voices from ¡ACTIVISTA!: International Women’s Day Celebration / Framing Solidarity Through Culture. Check out the full performance at hothouse.net.

Women’s day in Turkey comes as most rights for women are being reversed under President Erdogan’s rule. Gulden Yazgan and Mehmet Bayram report.

Land ownership issues in Uganda, a report from WINGS. Rita Hope Aciro-Lakor, Sheila Dallas-Katzman, Frieda Werden (producer).

Society has often looked to poets to provide an alternative perspective on the events and occurrences impacting our lives. Poets are gifted, in which they view life through a different lens, and they bravely speak truth to power! In Celebrating the Power of Women, we turn to an icon in the cultural world of poetry, Nikki Giovanni, known as the “Poet of the Black Revolution” for her writings in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Her contemporary work includes the ground-breaking anthology, Marvel’s Black Panther story, “Tales of Wakanda” and her latest book of poetry, “Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose.”

Ms. Giovanni is the recipient of an American Book Award, the Langston Hughes Medal, 7 NAACP Image Awards and is one of Oprah’s 25 Living Legends. Her  album, The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection was nominated for a Grammy.  Ms. Giovanni is currently a distinguished professor at Virginia Tech. We hear an excerpt of her conversation with Verna Avery Brown, host and executive producer of WPFW’s “What’s At Stake”.

Playlist

Lyla June, All Nations Rise

Hugh Masekala, Women of the Sun

Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman  

MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir, performing Sweet Honey’s  Women Should be a Priority 

Credits

Produced by Akua Holt, edited by senior producer-editor Polina Vasiliev, and Akua Holt.  Executive producers: Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer.

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