Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015: Joan Little and the Right to Self-Defense

Who Was Joan Little? What Happened to the Right to Self-Defense?

On Black History Month, we discuss the groundbreaking 1970s trial of Joan Little in North Carolina - called "The Trial of the Decade" by the Chicago Tribune.  Feminist and civil rights organizations came together to fight for Little's freedom after she killed a white jailer who sexually assaulted her. We also look at the cases of Inez Garcia and Dessie Woods, with journalist, author and activist Victoria Law.

Joan Little (left) on the day of her acquittal.

The tale of Joan (pronounced “Jo-Ann”) Little is one replete with the hardships of a young African-American woman struggling to survive in a world that has been unkind to her gender. Coupled with the harsh realities of her upbringing, crime became a refuge for Little. Despite this, Little would become the first woman to be acquitted of murder by way of justifying killing in the name of self-defense against sexual assault on August 15, 1975.

Victoria Law is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, which won the 2009 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) award. She frequently writes and speaks about the intersections between mass incarceration, gender and resistance.

Kate Raphael of Women's Magazine asks Victoria why don't we see the support of women who act in self-defense today as we saw in these earlier cases, specifically Marissa Alexander, Kelly Savage and the New Jersey Four. To find out more about Kelly Savage go to www.womenprisoners.org. Click here to sign a petition in support of Kelly.

Click here to listen to entire show. 59:50 min.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of Women's Magazine. If you didn't get a chance to pledge during our last two show you can still donate at KPFA.org.

This week's Calendar of Events:
Dance: ODC Presents Dance and Diaspora
Featuring Jill Parker & The Foxglove Sweethearts and Danica Sena
Feb 20-21, 2015 8pm 3153 17th Street in San Francisco
TICKETS $25 General, $35 Arts Patron

Film: They Were Promised the Sea
Thursday, Feb 18, 7 PM
South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis Street in Berkeley
Presented by Jewish Voice for Peace

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