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Ronnie Gilbert interviewed by Kate Weigand, March 10, 2004

 File — Box: 21
Link to transcript of Ronnie Gilbert interview
Link to transcript of Ronnie Gilbert interview
Link to video
Link to video

Scope and Contents

In this oral history Ronnie Gilbert describes her childhood in a left wing Jewish family in New York City. The interview focuses on her musical education, her childhood experiences at large union rallies and at the progressive Camp Wo-Chi-Ca in upstate New York, her participation in the folk music revival and The Weavers, her personal experience of the anti-communist blacklist, and her feminist awakening and participation in women's music. Gilbert's story documents the personal side of the 1950s blacklist and the connections between the radical political movements of 1930s-50s and the women's movement. (Transcript 49 pp.)

Dates of Materials

  • March 10, 2004


Conditions Governing Web Access

At the direction of the interviewer, the recording of this interview may only be placed on the web if access is restricted to the Smith College community. Please consult with special collections staff at to inquire about the existence of or access to digital copies. 
 The interviewer and narrator for this interview have agreed that the transcript may be placed on the web.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview is open for research use without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The narrator has retained copyright of this interview.

Biographical / Historical

Ronnie Gilbert (1926-2015) grew up in and around New York City in a left wing household. She is best known for her role in the singing group The Weavers, which worked to popularize folk music in the U.S. from 1948 until it was blacklisted in 1952. In the 1960s and 1970s Gilbert worked as an actor and a psychotherapist in New York, California, and Canada. In the 1980s she revitalized her singing career by touring on the women's music circuit, independently and with artists such as Holly Near. She defined herself as a writer/teacher/activist who was particularly committed to the issues of feminism and global peace.

Language of Materials