As an event videographer for many years now I have been assigned to help cover hundreds of the education, business, literary, political, media, law and medical movers and shakers of today when they participated in award ceremonies, panel discussions, interviews, press and other conferences, book talks and more.
As an event-specific paper ephemera and autograph collector I would (if available) gather official event programs, fliers, cards and so on and the signatures of every participant I could on those materials. And at times on items I brought with me.
Today I have in my possession well over 2,000 individual and group autographs and even more official and/or related event paper materials. I am very proud of what and how much I was able to gather, almost all of it now separated into special categories - by profession or event.
In this Hub I will share with you the autographs I placed into the category of "activists."
And when possible I will offer links to the actual public or private programs they participated in and the book, books or other publications that were talked about.
I hope you enjoy my Hubs.
Their Eyes Were Watching God event participants
On February 17, 2001, I helped videotape a literary event titled, "A Celebration of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston" at the Countee Cullen Regional Branch of the New York Public Library in Harlem.
After it, I secured the autographs of panel participants Ruby Dee and the now deceased, Ossie Davis.
Both Davis and Dee are known for their acting, writing, activistism and humanitarianism. They are also recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom under President George W. Bush.
Shown are the autographs of renowned singer Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul & Mary, secured at a fundraiser for his organization, Operation Respect, created "to assure each child a respectful, safe and compassionate climate of learning."
Baraka is huge political figure known for his writing of poetry, drama, fiction, essays beginning in the 1960s, addressing racism, national oppression, colonialism, neo-colonialism and more.
Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. I captured his autograph twice at a Brecht Forum-sponsored event in New York City.
His non-profit, the Rosenberg Fund For Children, makes grants to aid children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted for their progressive activities.
Naomi Wolf is an author and feminist - often described as leading spokesperson of the third wave of the feminist movement. Her autograph was captured on March 31, 2004, at a discussion she participated in at Barnard College.
Darfur Dairies activists
Above and below are the autographs of Jen Marlowe, Aisha Bain and Adam Shapiro, authors of "Darfur Dairies: Stories of Survival," and documentary filmakers of "Darfur Diaries: Message from Home."
I secured them on November 13, 2006 at a discussion about their experiences talking with refugees in Chad and Sudan.
In front of a huge crowd, the discussion took place in the Pomegranate Gallery in SoHo.
Father Daniel Berrigan is an iconic figure, known for his stands for non-violence and protest with his brother Philip against the Vietnam War.
At this event, honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., Berrigan appeared on a panel with other religious figures known for their activism.
The autographs on this media release include those of then President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney and VP Richard Trumka. Today, Richard Trumka is the president.
The autograph is of artist and former comfort woman, Soon-Duk Kim. She was humbled that I asked for it - with the help from her translater.
This was quite an event to witness and help videotape, addressing a horrible and less-known chapter of World World II, the supply of sex slaves from China, Korea, Japan and the Philippines to Japan's military.
Photojournalist and activist David Bacon
David Bacon is a photojournalist, author and Professor Emeritus of Chicano studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
I obtained his autograph four times at a talk a about his book of photography titled, "Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices From the World of Migrants."
It took place on February 9, 2007, at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies/Center for Labor, Community and Policy Studies. The Murphy Center is associated with CUNY, the City University of New York.
Bacon's photographs and stories seek to capture the courage of people struggling for social and economic justice all over the world.
Above and below are additional handouts I obtained at the event.
This flier was signed by Ruby Dee, whom I spotted in the audience of this event. Obtained a few years after the death of her husband, Ossie Davis, it was sad to see her without him by her side.
Barbara Seaman is another iconic feminist figure known for being a principal founder of the women's health feminism movement and alerting women to the dangers of the Pill. I spotted her in the audience of a Devra Davis talk and secured her autograph.
The signatures on this program are of Estela Barnes de Carlotto and Rosa Tarlovsky de Roisinblit, members of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who sought missing children in troubled times in Argentina.
It was on May 20, 2005, when these Grandmothers were presented the New School University Sixty-ninth Commencement Exercises University in Exile Award."
New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty event activists
Take a look at this panel lineup. David Kaczynski is the Executive Director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty and brother of the Unabomber. Gary Wright survived a Unabomber attack and publicly forgave him at his sentencing in '98.
Bud Welsh, an outspoken opponent of capital punishment, lost his daughter in the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing and Bill Babbitt turned in in his mentally ill brother who was later executed by the military.
A photo of David Kaczynski after the discussion. This occasion was also captured for replay on C-SPAN, but I can't find it online.
I'll never forget this appearance of longtime comedian and activist Dick Gregory. While laughing so hard when videotaping his two performances, I had to let go of the tripod handle several times in order to avoid shaking the camera image.
Jeri Laber is a co-founder of the world-renowned Human Rights Watch. I secured her autograph twice before her book talk at a Barnes & Noble.
The talk about her book, "The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement," was captured for replay on Booktv.
Historian, author and longtime Columbia University professor Manning Marable is active in many progressive political causes.
A writer of several books addressing racism, capitalism, African American history, professor Manning is now working on a book titled, "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention."
Steinem is a huge feminist author, journalist and activist known for her leadership of the Women's Liberation Movement in the late 60s and 70s. At this occasion I also met David Bale (now deceased), whom she married at age 66.
Steinem also co-founded Ms. Magazine and the Women's Media Center.
A blurb about her talk at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center.
An unsigned flier from same event.
And more... known for their activism
This card reveals the autograph of Kathleen Cleaver, a law professor who is most known for being a founder of the Black Panther party with her husband, Eldridge Cleaver. I actually secured her autograph at two separate events. (above and below)
At this important literary event, the first "Frederick Douglass Prize for the Best Book on Slavery," I spotted Ms. Cleaver in the audience.
Marion Nestle is known for her battles with the food industry and advocacy for nutritious food for all.
I met and secured two autographs from Nestle when I videotaped a talk about her book, "Food Politics." It took place at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center.
Pete Seeger is another iconic figure, known for his environmental and labor-related activism and singing.
At this main Brooklyn Public Library event, Pete Seeger read from a children's book he co-authored with Paul Dubois Jacobs and then with other musicians put on a concert. It was great... and was played on Booktv.
An unsigned flier from same event. Note the date, only a few weeks after the September 11th attacks.
The radical Pam Africa
Signee Pam Africa is chairwoman of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and MOVE, a Philadelphia-based black liberation group founded by charismatic leader John Africa.
I spotted Pam Africa in the audience of a National Action Network-sponsored discussion about Black representation (or lack of) in the U.S. commercial media. It took place at the Sheraton NY.
When I met Africa, she handed me the above and following two handouts about longtime death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.
That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed looking over my "activists" collection.
Watch for more Hubs from my rather large New York City area in-person autograph collection.