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One entire section of Susan Eisenberg’s“Move the Decimal Point” blog poignantly remembers the names and stories of the many women who have died on the jobs they held in construction and related trades.
Eisenberg, a prominent Boston writer, poet, teacher and artist who was herself a tradeswoman, authored a breakthrough book of moving profiles relates the discouraging and dangerous encounters too many women have had struggling with threatened and threatening men for equality of position, pay and pride, and yes, power, in those traditionally male bastions of carpentry, electricity, plumbing, welding, labor, etc. – that is, all the many crafts that make up the construction trades.
The book, We’ll Call You If We Need You, published in 1999, is the natural outgrowth of Eisenberg’s own dilemmas as she grew from apprentice in 1978 to journeyman electrician and navigated the same rough waters as the women she writes about – and in some cases has had to mourn. A book of emotional poetry later reflected on the tales. Since then, she’s taken the stories on the road in a multimedia exhibit – “On Equal Terms” – a more visual assemblage representing those experiences.
As she and others joining us will tell you, all is still not tongue-in-groove joins of tradesmen and the women wanting to do the same work and, when given a chance, often more skilled and competent at their craft. In many cases, the men just cannot buy what they see as an intrusion into their realm.
What are the experiences of women in the trades today? Are the opportunities more prolific? Safer? More equal? Who’s working to overcome the barriers that still block many women from successfully entering the trades and working the wood and the wire, the beams and the pipes? Is this whole business a little like the deeply entrenched social issues that keep us divided, only plagued with even more gatekeeping of the union standard?
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with author/artist Eisenberg as well as other tradeswomen past and present, one of whom is an independent contractor and a PhD candidate in Housing, no less.
We had a nice phone chat with Lucy Kaplansky this morning; she will join Claudia Schmidt and Heather Masse at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium Friday, March 1st, for a special Women of Red House 30th Anniversary concert. Lucy talked about her latest album "Reunion" and the 30th anniversary for Red House. We also heard new music from Son Volt, Dale Watson and Joshua James. It wasn't all women!
All the songs in the first hour have "Harlem" in the title.
Hour 2, I welcome Kaira Hogle to discuss the film "AKA Doc Pomus" which will be opening the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival.
Showing at the Jewish Community Center.
BIRTHDAYS-IN-BLUE From the Land of the Round Haircut for The Man in Black JOHNNY CASH, Rockabilly Pioneer HARDROCK GUNTER, The Bayou Country's CLARENCE 'BON TON' GARLOW, and New Orleans' own FATS DOMINO--turning 85 Tomorrow/Tuesday February 26!!! All this, and a preview of tonight's PBS American Masters SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: The Godmother of Rock 'N' Roll.
WE WIN Institute's Theme for Black History Programming this year is African American Inventors. We will learn about those Black inventors who created the iron, the washing machine and traffic ligths. This is our opportunity to celebrate the greatness of African American people and highlight African American Youth.
A performance inspired by Africa and hosted by Ms. Kenna at Patrick's Cabaret in Minneapolis. This independently produced show featured spoken word, live music, dance and more, with a focus on the African diaspora. The theme Africans in the Snow comes from poem by Louis Alehemayu, who was inspired by a photograph of two Somali women in a snowy Minneapolis parking lot.