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Session:         Page of 592

Session #21
Interviewee: Moe Foner
Interviewer: Dan North
Place: New York, New York
Date: February 26, 2001

Q:

So today I think we should focus on Bread and Roses and bring it forward from when your last oral history ended, which was 1986. So maybe you'd like to talk about some of the programs that have happened since then, including Women of Hope and the Unseen America and the Work in the Schools and whatever other programs you'd like to focus on.

Foner:

Okay. The first one I'd like to discuss is the Women of Hope Project. When we, 1199, formed with the help of the Board of Ed the 1199 School of Social Change up in the Bronx, it consisted -- the students -- it's a high school, there were mostly African-American and Latina women. I was involved in the planning of the school and meeting with the committee, and it occurred to me to start looking at school textbooks, of how do they -- or do they, describe African- American women, Latina women, how do they treat them, and I found out that there was a lot of material on African-American and Latino males, but very little on women.

So I had the idea of why don't we think in terms of doing a set of posters on African-American women of hope. I proceeded to contact photographers, particularly Brian Lanker, who had done an amazing book of photos, a coffee table book, photographing about a hundred African-American women, and which have gone through several editions. There are three exhibitions touring the world, and he's considered the dean of photographers on that field.

Q:

That's Lanker, L-A-N-K-E-R?

Foner:

L-A-N-K-E-R. And he had a woman who had been a teacher in New York, an African-American woman, who taught history in the schools, and she went with him every place and interviewed the woman he was photographing. So the book consists of the photograph and the page on the woman. I'd seen the book, and I thought, “Gee, if



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