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Exploring second wave feminist radio at the Pacifica Radio Archives

KPFA Folio 1975As we reported in July, the Pacifica Radio Archives has received a $128k grant to preserve and publish around 1,644 historical radio programs (2,013 reel-to-reel audio recordings) documenting the cultural and political activism of women in the United States from 1963 to 1982. The whole project will take around two years. The recordings will be available for schools, museums, libraries and other non-profit educational organizations at no charge.

On Tuesday August 20, the five Pacifica stations will run  programs focusing on this preservation campaign. Some streams are already available online, among them:

June Jordan, interviewed by Julius Lester. This program originally aired on WBAI in 1968. Lester identifies her as June Meyer in the introduction, then reads one of her early poems: “He’s a man on the roof, on the run, with a gun, he’s a man . . . ”

• Anais Nin takes questions at a UC Berkeley. The show was originally broadcast on KPFA in 1971. “How do we build our faith, our trust, our forgiveness, our connections,” Nin asks her audience. “We can build them only when we are willing to open the deepest part of ourselves . . . ” Also see: Anais Nin interviewed by Judy Chicago.

• Yoko Ono talks about discrimination against women artists. She is interviewed by Liza Cowan and Jan Albert at Pacifica station WBAI in 1971. The discussion opens with Ono recalling her WBAI series on Japanese folk songs, then continues with a conversation about conceptual art.

• Studs Terkel interviews Simone de Beauvoir from her Paris apartment in 1960. The show includes excerpts from “Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter,””Prime of Life,””All Said and Done,” and “The Second Sex.”

• Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, interviewed by Clare Spark in 1971. Chicago had just changed her name from Gerowitz when she appeared on Spark’s “Sour Apple Tree” program. Chicago and Schapiro spoke of teaching women art students at Fresno State College.

• Dolores Huerta, interviewed by Maria Huffman at WBAI in 1968. The Vice President of the United Farm Workers spoke about the Delano Grape Strike.

These and another 45 or so shows are online and streamable. Some portions of digital preservations-in-progress include an interview with Fanny Lou Hamer (Hamer audio except here); Jane Fonda at Travis Air Force Base in 1971 (reported by KPFA’s Denny Smithson, Fonda audio excerpt here);  Ntozake Shange reading from her novel Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo (Shange audio excerpt here); and New York Congressmember Bella Abzug on Solidarity (Abzug audio excerpt here).

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2 Responses to Exploring second wave feminist radio at the Pacifica Radio Archives

  1. liza cowan February 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    That is soooo cool.

    thank you!

    cheers, Liza Cowan


  1. Pacifica Radio Archives ramps up its Campus Campaign - June 11, 2015

    […] are remarkable collections. I’ve written about the PRA’s women’s history initiative, which includes the voices of Judy Chicago, Delores Huerta, Yoko Ono, Simone de Beauvoir, and June […]

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