WNYT.com

Albany Common Council member makes national debut

Posted at: 01/31/2013 5:55 PM
Updated at: 01/31/2013 6:49 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

ALBANY--We know Barbara Smith best for her work on the Common Council.  And as an advocate for women, families, safety and life, in general, in the city of Albany.  But what many don't know about the very public figure is that she's a former publisher and co-founder of the first press for women of color.  And it's that Barbara Smith who is featured in PBS' "Makers: The Women who make America."

Sandra Day O'Connor, Ellen, Geraldine Ferraro and Gloria Steinem are just some of the other female "Makers" with whom Smith will share screen time.

"They are women from all walks of life, not everyone is a household name, and that includes me.  But all have done as much as we could to fight for equality and justice," explains Smith.

Smith met the filmmakers while serving on a panel at Yale with Gloria Steinem.

"A lot of people know me because of the extensive work I did, particularly to build the black women's movement in this country," says Smith.

And while it's true everyone has a story, Smith believes the stories of the "Makers" women are especially inspiring.  And also, a call to action.

"We saw (in the last election) how women's issues were brought out in a negative way and we saw we still have work to do to make sure women have opportunities that all people deserve."

Smith will be attending a red carpet premiere, next week at Lincoln Center.  And on 2/20, "Makers" will premiere locally at the Unitarian Society in Albany.  If you can't make either of those, "Makers" airs on WMHT on 2/26.