Join authors Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus as they discuss their book Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute and its connection to the history of sex work, gender, and activism in the Bay Area at this year's Anarchist Book Fair!
"A Voice from the Underworld," the serialized version of Alice Smith's story, originally published in the San Francisco Bulletin in 1913, has until its recent republication, gone forgotten as a key piece of radical U.S. history. Alice Smith's story attracted the attention of the famed anarchist and feminist activist Emma Goldman, who found "A Voice from the Underworld", and the many letters written in response by other working class women and sex workers, to offer a uniquely radical perspective on the questions of sex, class, gender, and marriage. The publication of "A Voice from the Underworld" also marks a significant transition in the career of newspaper editor Fremont Older, who later gained fame within radical circles for his work with criminals Donald Lowrie and Jack Black in the name of prison reform, and his defense of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, San Francisco's own Sacco and Vanzetti, who were wrongfully convicted of bombing the pro-war "Preparedness Day" parade that took place in 1916. In 1917, Fremont Older would work with several of the sex workers he had met during the run of Alice's story to organize the first sex worker's rights protest in U.S. history, which took place on January 25th, 1917. We will discuss these early strains of activism in the Bay Area and how they influenced later feminist, queer, and sex worker rights movements.
For more information, visit: http://bayareaanarchistbookfair.com/