Episode 20 - 7 Books with Fannie Rushing: An Extended Conversation
Books We Discuss
Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement, Barbara Ransby Capitalism and Slavery, Eric Williams
Discourse on Colonialism, Aime Cesaire,
This Little Light of Mine, Kay Mills
Unbowed, Wangari Maathai,
I am Malala, Malala Yousafzai,
Earth Democracy, Vandana Shiva.
Guest: Fannie Rushing
Hosts: Page May
Date: July 31, 2017
In this special episode, we sat down with SNCC freedom fighter and Chicago-native, Fannie Rushing, for an extended conversation about her organizing experiences. and the seven books that have helped define them. Not wanting to cut anything, we've broken up the interview into five parts. Take your time to listen, but take the time. It is a gift to all engaged in the struggle to build a better world.
A Bit More About Fannie Rushing:
As a college student, Rushing became a volunteer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and began organizing a Friends of SNCC chapter at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was attending. She left school shortly after to become a full-time SNCC staff member.
While with SNCC, Rushing taught in the organization's Freedom Schools, originally designed to promote literacy and prepare people to register to vote. She started a residential Freedom School that brought young people from the South to Chicago for six weeks and sent young black students from the North to Georgia.
Over the years, she worked with the late social activist Ella Baker to build the Mass Party to bring progressive social change in the United States. During the 1990s, she defended the right of Haiti's democratically elected president, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to govern after he had been ousted by the military.
Barbara Ransby, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has written on Rushing's mentor, Ella Baker, calls Rushing a heroine of civil rights.
"Dr. Rushing has been an exemplary mentor to new generations of students and has organized programs on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the larger movement, which have helped to educate hundreds, if not thousands, about the legacy of the movements of the 1960s and '70s."
Now a professor at Benedictine for the better part of the past decade, Rushing teaches courses on the African Diaspora, Latin American history, social-political movements, global studies and the humanities.