A new program called MAKERS: Women Who Make America debuts on PBS tonight. As the program's website describes itself: "[MAKERS] tells the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy." It features interviews with a bunch of high-profile and influential women. Among them: Albany common councilwoman Barbara Smith.
From her profile on the MAKERS site:
... Barbara joined Mount Holyoke's class of 1969 and was quickly among a wave of scholars and critics leading in the definition of a distinctive African-American women's literary tradition and establishing Black women's studies in college and university curricula.
The new critical approach in turn informed political action and in 1974 Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective, an early and influential Black feminist group. Her leadership made the group a conscience for different movements by calling attention to the ways racism, classism, homophobia, and sexism intersect. When feminists were ignoring issues of race, Smith was there. And when African-Americans were indulging in homophobia, she was there, too. "We understood that dealing with sexual politics didn't mean you weren't a race woman, and that speaking out about homophobia didn't mean that you didn't want to end poverty." Smith's political action--recognized in a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nomination--has continued to be interwoven with writing and criticism. She co-founded, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first US publisher of women of color, in 1980. She is currently serving her second term as a member of the Albany Common Council.
That link also includes clips from Smith's interview. One is embedded above.
MAKERS is on WMHT tonight (Tuesday, February 26) from 8-11 pm.
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