Vinie, Molly & Lillian guest on pre-debate round-table.

Like fingerprints and snowflakes, there are no duplications in the ranks of the Granny Peace Brigade. When WBAI put out the call for three grannies who survived the Great Depression to participate in an on-air round table discussion, their listeners got a kaleidoscopic look at the 1930s from three different perspectives.

Molly Klopot, Lillian Rydell and Vinie Burrows in action – always

Vinie gave a warm and nuanced recollection of growing up in depression era Harlem, reminding us all of the extraordinary journey of this talented woman. Molly’s account of the 1932 Ford Hunger March from Detroit to Dearborn that resulted in the murder of four of her friends is the stuff of legends. Lillian recounted the deep hardships suffered and life lessons learned in a small coal mining town in rural Pennsylvania. All three women spoke of the dynamic and positive role a responsive and progressive government can have during tough economic times. Citing ground-breaking programs like the WPA (Work Progress Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), the rise of organized labor, the creation of the Social Security Administration and other programs that helped level the social and economic justice playing fields, they called on concerned citizens everywhere to reach out into their communities.

– Fran Sears and Lillian Rydell
– Photos: Phyllis Cunningham & Eva-Lee Baird

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