Mtn. Talk: Mountain Women
On this week’s program we bring you voices of women in eastern Kentucky. First, we’ll hear speeches and poetry from Pikeville, KY on the one year anniversary of the historic 2017 Women’s March. The speakers eloquently and powerfully lay out challenges facing women today in Eastern KY and the world including access to birth control, workplace discrimination, a lack of political representation, and a need for consent in our relationships from the personal to the political.
Then, we’ll travel back in time with a story from our archives. Fast Food Women is an Appalshop film directed by Anne Lewis and released in 1991. Then WMMT producer Maxine Kenny used audio from the film to produce a short radio piece you’ll hear in this week’s edition of Mountain Talk. The film, and the audio piece in this program takes an inside look at the lives of the women who fry chicken, make pizzas, and flip burgers at four different fast food restaurants in eastern Kentucky. These women, mostly middle-aged and raising children, are often the sole income source for their families. They work for wages barely above the minimum wage, have trouble getting full-time hours because of their employers scheduling policies, and are without health care and other benefits.
And last, we’ll hear two brief interviews conducted by Kelli Haywood in 2016 in which local Letcher County residents share memories and stories of inspiring Appalachian women in their own families and communities. All of these stories paint a picture of the strength, resiliency, and leadership of mountain women.