Women and Resistance: From the Panthers, to Yippies, to Comix
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California Historical Society
Mar 23, 2017
Join the California Historical Society for a panel discussion about the roles women played in resistance and social protest movements in the Bay Area during the 1960s and 1970s. Hear from women who participated and led social and political movements, like the Yippies and Black Panthers, and art protest in comics and underground newspapers, like Wimmin’s Comix and the Berkeley Barb.
Leah Garchik, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate the discussion, which will focus on powerful stories from panelists’ experiences as well as suggestions on how women can be leaders, guiders, and supporters of social protest movements today.
- In 1970, Trina Robbins produced the very first all-woman comic book, “It Ain’t me, Babe.” In 1972 she was one of the founding mothers of “Wimmin’s Comix,” the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book (1972 – 1992), for which she drew the very first comic ever about an out Lesbian.
In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, Robbins co-wrote (with Catherine Yronwood) Women in the Comics, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists. She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, and Lily Renee. Her new book, Babes in Arms, due out in Summer, 2017, collects the work of four Golden Age women who fought the Axis with pen and ink, drawing comics that starred beautiful, courageous women who didn’t need to be rescued by some guy.
- Judy Gumbo is an original Yippie, one of the few female members of that theatrical protest group who levitated the Pentagon to stop the Vietnam War, brought the New York Stock Exchange to a halt to satirize greed and ran a pig for President at the 1968 Democratic Convention. She went on to become an activist at People’s Park, a founder of an early Berkeley women’s group, and a writer for the Berkeley Barb and the Berkeley Tribe. In 1970 Gumbo visited the former North Vietnam while the war still raged. She is honored that, in 1972, the FBI said about her: “The subject JUDY GUMBO is considered to be the most vicious, the most anti-American, the most anti-establishment, and the most dangerous to the internal security of the United States.”
In 1975, Gumbo discovered a tracking device on her car. She subsequently sued the U.S. Government to successfully challenge warrantless wiretapping. Judy has a Ph.D. in Sociology and spent most of her professional career as an award-winning fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. She is also a double widow: of Yippie founder Stew Albert and of David Dobkin, a founder of Berkeley Cohousing. Judy and Stew’s book, The Sixties Papers, is recognized as a pioneering work that lets the 1960s speak for itself. Judy’s publications, blog, interviews and life choices marry the fun-loving spirit of the Yippies with the courage to confront the world we live in and ourselves. Find her at her website www.yippiegirl.com , on Facebook under Judy Gumbo Albert and Yippie Girl, and follow her @JudyGumbo on Twitter.
- Judy Juanita’s debut novel, Virgin Soul, (Viking, 2013), features a young black woman who joins the Black Panther Party. Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, Juanita met fellow students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale when she was a 16-year-old college freshman. As a junior at San Francisco State, she joined the Black Panther Party (BPP). When Eldridge Cleaver was jailed after the 1968 shootout in West Oakland, Huey appointed her editor-in-chief of the BPP newspaper. Juanita became the youngest faculty member of the nation’s first black studies program at SF State in 1969.
Juanita’s poetry and fiction have been published widely, and her plays have been produced in the Bay Area and NYC. Her collection of essays, De Facto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland (Equidistance, 2016), explores key shifts and contradictions in black and female empowerment, viewing activism and feminism as it plays out in one writer’s political, artistic and spiritual life. Juanita lives, writes and teaches in Oakland. Learn more about the book at the Link