Madeline Anderson & I Am Somebody

Black Womyn Union Workers in North Carolina

Black Film Center/Archive

I really didn’t let gender and race issues bother me. I knew I would have trouble with both. I was determined to do what I was going to do at any cost. I kept plugging away. Whatever I had to do, I did it.

–Madeline Anderson, from Reel Black Talk

In 1969, Madeline Anderson was commissioned by the Hospital Workers Union Local 1199 to record a strike at the Medical College Hospital of the University of South Carolina in Charleston. The striking employees, who aimed to receive union recognition and a fair wage, numbered over 400, all but 12 of them women and all of them black. The resulting documentary film, I Am Somebody (1969), has the distinction of being the first half-hour documentary film directed by an African-American, unionized, female director. It will be screened at the IU Cinema in Bloomington on Friday, January 18th at 4:00pm, with…

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