This week on From the Vault we listen to a 1973 program that shines with the passion of Pacifica Radio, Dear Brother Erika – the story of Erika Seastrom, one of the first women to join the previously all-male printers union. Not only does this forty-year-old recording preserve a first-person account of Seastrom’s fiery print shop career, it also perfectly registers the indomitable spirit in her voice: through her Brooklyn accent, her raw candor, and her unwavering humor under what were surely the most difficult of circumstances. The featured audio begins with a song and original 1973 producer Bonnie Bellow introducing Seastrom, who goes on to discuss her start in the printing business, the sexism she confronted on the job, her attempts to join the union, and working conditions in New York City print shops. Seastrom also reads an excerpt from her unpublished autobiography, Dear brother Erika. While this program has been edited for broadcast, it contains sensitive language.
From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.