Forging Public Voices: Memory, Writing, Power
In the early evening of March 8, 2001—International Women’s Day— women, men, and children gathered in New York City at the corner of Green Street and Washington Place in front of the Asche Building to listen to the poet and singer Phyllis Capello and the storyteller Gioia Tim-panelli. Small cards with a reproduction of Nancy Azara’s collage “Fire” and inscribed names and ages of victims were passed around the crowd. Ninety years earlier, this had been the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In this same space in which people listened, held hands, embraced a friend, a child, a horrified crowd had witnessed women workers jumping to their death from the ninth floor in a desperate attempt to escape the fire that burned three floors—eighth, ninth, and tenth—of the building. On March 25, 1911, 146 workers, mostly young women—the average age was 19—died in that fire. Most of the victims were Jewish women immigrants. About one-third were Italian women immigrants.
KeywordsAmerican Woman Ethnic Identity Public Intellectual Political Awareness African American Mother
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