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51 % The Women's Perspective

51% #1644: Women And Girls Of Color In Music And Dance

Singer Songwriter Annie Mack
Courtesy of Shelly Mossman
Singer Songwriter Annie Mack

On this week’s 51%, a musician talks about what she calls her new feminine EP. Teenage girls of color in ballet say this form of dance caters to white women. A mother speaks out about her missing son in the Army while another woman offers support for families of missing service members. Plus, Dr. Jeri Burns talks about the home life during COVID.

African American singer/songwriter Annie Mack does it all, from powerhouse blues to New Americana and beyond, highlighting her vocal presence and original songs. She released two new singles in 2020, “Shadows of a Kingdom” and “Judge and Jury.” Her new EP “Testify” was due out at the end of January. She is also featured in the book “50 Women in the Blues” (Supernova Books 2020). This story was produced by Dixie Treichel.

That was singer/songwriter Annie Mack in a piece produced by Dixie Triechel for KFAI.

And now we hear from some teens who talk about their experiences as girls of color as ballet dancers. Ariel Mejia produced this piece called Shades of Beauty.

This story is from a youth radio program that is part of Chicago-based non-profit After School Matters.

The Army has come under fire for its treatment of missing soldiers since the April death of Specialist Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood, Texas. For years, families and advocates have said the Army is too quick to treat soldiers as deserters when they go missing. Now the service is rethinking its approach when troops don’t show up for duty. Carson Frame reports for the American Homefront Project.

This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Women who do not fit female stereotypes are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment, and if they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed. That’s according to research published by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Cheryl Kaiser, of the University of Washington and a co-author of the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says “sexual harassment is pervasive and causes significant harm, yet far too many women cannot access fairness, justice and legal protection, leaving them susceptible to further victimization and harm within the legal system.” Kaiser says the “research found that a claim was deemed less credible and sexual harassment was perceived to be less psychologically harmful when it targeted a victim who was less attractive or did not act according to the stereotype of a typical woman.” 

Meantime, preliminary research shows that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in new moms’ early breastmilk, called colostrum. The research was led by a University of Massachusetts Amherst breast cancer researcher and a University of Massachusetts Medical School obstetrician-gynecologist. Scientists say the antibodies were detected in 14 of 15 women who had tested positive for COVID-19 before giving birth. The lead author of the not-yet-peer reviewed research says the immune response was detected in colostrum of women who had their first positive test and symptoms more than four months before delivery, as well as those who had their first positive test at delivery and were asymptomatic. Breastfeeding by women infected with SARS-CoV-2 is endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and available evidence suggests breastmilk rarely contains live coronavirus and is not likely to spread the disease to babies. The extent to which the COVID-19 antibodies found in colostrum provide immunity to babies is not yet clear.

And Dr. Jeri Burns has grown comfortable with her newly named syndrome.

Dr. Jeri Burns is a storyteller, writer and educator living in New York's Hudson Valley. You can find her at storycrafters.com. Burns also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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