Friday, March 27, 2009

Women's History Month Program in a male prison

Glennor Shirley and panelists speaking to inmates at the Jessup Correctional during a program on Women's history Month

At JCI, over 66 men attended and participated in discussions about achievement of women throughout history. We discussed women as defined by religion, social strata, economics, slavery, social movements.

Discussion time was lively.

One young man said while the women did a lot, he wished they were more passive and allowed men to be men. Did that rattle my chain! I hope my voice did not rise too much as I pointed out that meant there was some insecurity. Surprisingly the audience made sounds of approval at my statement.

An older prisoner talked about the role of women goddesses and leaders in history. Another talked about the women in the black liberation struggles. Hurray!! We also talked about the women's liberation movement and women who fought for the right to vote etc.

An inmate asked if we were feminist. I said I did not join movements. I was a female individual who advocated equality and fairness, especially since I had lawfully followed all the rules of society. One fellow in the back- the only one- asked if we wanted the men to wear skirt. I said if he was comfortable with that, it was his choice.

I recommended that they read COME ON PEOPLE, by Bill Cosby and Alvin Pouissant as we are going to use that book for a discussion on family values, parenting, etc. That day all 26 copies of the book were checked out, and the librarian sent to ask for more.

JCI Librarian and panelists
at the Women's history program.


SWIRL said...

Inspiring work! Wow! I am really moved by the mission of your work.
I'm glad I found your site!

anniegotgun said...

Very great! I am a MLIS student and found your site because I am writing a paper on prison libraries. Very inspirational work. Thanks!

Peggy said...

Thanks for your comment. It is very rewarding to see interests from those who never used libraries when they were out in the community.