Gloria Steinem author photo
Annie Leibovitz

Gloria Steinem, 82,  is one of the most iconic figures of the American feminist movement. Her legacy as a journalist and activist includes co-founding and editing Ms. Magazine, publishing writings on the intersecting barriers to women’s rights, and decades of organizing on the front lines of national and international feminist movements.

photo of Rapsody

This program originally aired July 11, 2016.

Growing up in the small town of Snow Hill, N.C., Marlanna Evans, a.k.a Rapsody, wasn't exposed to much hip-hop music. She would listen to the songs her older cousins played in the car, but she didn't develop a love for rap until college.

While attending North Carolina State University, Evans helped a hip-hop culture grow on campus with a student music group that would meet in a dormitory lounge to rap battle. She eventually started making her own rhymes and met producer and Jamla Records founder 9th Wonder.

photo of Alexis Pauline Gumbs, her nephew, and stepsister
Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Some scholars are criticized for staying within the ‘ivory tower,’ and creating work that’s only accessible to a highly-academic audience. Alexis Pauline Gumbs does not receive that criticism.

She identifies as a community-accountable scholar and puts that identity into practice by intentionally bringing scholarly ideas into non-academic settings. This manifests in online educational projects like ‘Eternal Summer of The Black Feminist Mind,’ which creates accessible curricula from black feminist work.

Wonder Woman is perhaps the most well-known female superhero. She is the inspiration for the play 'Behind the Boots' put on by the Summer Sisters. It explores the history and significance of Wonder Woman.
Mark Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Wonder Woman is an iconic superhero best known for her battle skills and formidable weapons. The Amazonian warrior princess is often seen with her Lasso of Truth, invisible airplane and indestructible bracelets. She first appeared in comic books in 1941, but her image and character has since soared far beyond the page.

Triangle-based theater group Summer Sisters used the pop-culture icon as inspiration for a new experimental theater piece called “Behind the Boots.” It explores the connections between heroism, feminism, truth, justice, and their own everyday lives.

Breathing Back

Feb 24, 2015
Breathing Back: A Meditation Chorus is now on display at The Carrack.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs / http://thecarrack.org/exhibit/breathingback/

  The final words uttered by Eric Garner, "I can't breathe," have become a mantra for protesters across the nation speaking out against police brutality.

Two Durham-based artists have repurposed the phrase for a new cause: to help outraged and exhausted communities connect to a legacy of activism and build resources for their long-term spiritual, emotional and physical resilience. They call it “Black Feminist Breathing.”

Creative Commons/ Wellcome Library, London

Writer Megan Mahew Bergman describes her newest collection of short stories as “10 years of my reading life.” Almost Famous Women (Scribner/2015) is historical fiction that explores the lives of powerful and unusual women who have remained in the margins of history. The stories range from an account of conjoined twins who were sold into show business in North Carolina, to the life and legacy of Africa’s first female horse trainer. Host Frank Stasio talks to Megan Mahew Bergman about women who took risks, broke rules, and disrupted cultural and gender norms in the early to mid 20th century.

Image of La Bête Magique performing at The Casbah
Tim Walter

For much of music history, rock music has been considered a boys club. 

A photo of a girl near a Girls Rock poster.
Girls Rock NC

Girls Rock NC is turning 10 years old this summer.  The series of week-long day-camps gathers girls of varying ages and musical abilities to form bands.  They write original music and play a show at the end of the week. 

But tonight, some male musicians are covering songs by female artists at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw to benefit the nonprofit.  With me this morning is Girls Rock NC founder Amelia Shull, and Stu McLamb of the band The Love Language

Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation Black Bodies the Black Church and the Council of Chalcedon
us.macmillan.com / macmillan

In many black churches, women do the administrative work, raise funds, and educate the congregation's children. It is rare to find black women in higher leadership roles like preachers and pastors. Eboni Marshall Turman is the director of black church studies at Duke Divinity School, and author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Palgrave Macmillan; 2013). 

Diya Abdo headshot


Growing up as a Palestinian in Jordan, Diya Abdo straddled multiple cultures. Her love of American literature brought her to the United States. 

Black and White photograph of Workers Marching in Roanoke Rapids


In the 1970s, the small town of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina was dominated by the J.P. Stevens textile mills, which controlled many aspects of its workers' lives. 

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

What’s going on with the youth these days?  Some are getting into knitting sweaters. Others are tending to backyard chicken coops. They are cheesemaking, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may be more than a trend towards rustic pleasures.

Transforming Knowledge: Public Talks on Women's Studies 1976-2011 by Jean Fox O'Barr
http://www.shewrites.com/ / She Writes Press


Jean Fox O'Barr was denied a teaching job at Duke University in the late 1960s. The reason? Her gender.  But later a few years later, with a shortage of professors, they asked O’Barr to join the political science department. She went on to found the Duke women's studies department and co-founded the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture. 

Hannah Shaw

Mount Moriah fans are familiar with Heather McIntyre’s heart-wrenching vocals.  But they may not be familiar with her work with the summer camp Girls Rock NC.  In fact, several fan favorites of the Triangle music scene support Girls Rock, including singer-songwriter Laura Thurston and Maria Albani of Schooner.

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

You may have noticed a DIY trend among young people these days. Some are getting into knitting sweaters; others are keeping backyard chicken coups. Otherwise, they are making cheese, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may not be just a trend towards rustic pleasures.

Emily Matchar calls this movement the New Domesticity.  And she documents this phenomenon in her new book, "Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity." Generally, she is writing not about people who embrace DIY culture out of necessity, but rather as a voluntary lifestyle. 

Photo Given To The State of Things By Jeanette Stokes

While growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jeanette Stokes never imagined she would become a minister. After all, as a young girl, she had never even seen a woman lead a congregation. But she eventually followed her faith, fulfilled her ambition, and helped other women to better nurture their own spirituality.

Photo Given by Marjorie Fowler

  When you opened up a children’s book in the 1960s, chances are you saw girls in pink playing with dolls and boys in blue going on adventures. And most of the characters were probably white.

A group of women in Chapel Hill, many of them mothers and academics, decided they wanted to see more diverse and empowering images in children’s literature and took matters into their own hands. This collective became the printing press known as Lollipop Power Inc.

In 1970, Beverly Guy-Sheftall helped create the first women’s studies department at Spelman College, and it became the first and only department of its kind at a historically Black college.

Intimate Wars

Jul 24, 2012

An experience early in Merle Hoffman’s career as a counselor solidified her life’s mission.  She was asked to speak to and comfort a woman who was struggling with the decision to have an abortion. Holding that woman’s hand on that difficult day started Hoffman on the path of advocating for the reproductive rights of women everywhere.

A group of Duke University undergraduates decided to fulfill the requirements for a group project by asking their peers on campus, "Who needs feminism?" To their surprise, the world answered them. Their project’s Tumblr blog has received more than 80,000 visits from 144 countries and 11,000 people have "liked" their page on Facebook.