The Radical Revolutionary Woman Who Didn’t Really Exist

While going through the UW Madison Archives, I came across a this person named Carmi Weingrod.

The description

“This collection includes a variety of published and unpublished booklets, pamphlets, flyers, newspapers, newspaper clippings, magazines, articles, essays, book chapters, etc. The majority of the materials relate to feminism, women’s liberation, Vietnam War, gay and lesbian issues, African-American women, and the Black Panther Party. There are a few documents directly related to events at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the late 1960's, especially the Vietnam War protests. Materials are both from national and local sources.”

Immediately when I read this I needed to look into this person work more. What I found was a astounding collection of works.

American Women: Their Use and Abuse, 1969

The Black Panther Party and White Response, undated

The Case Against ROTC (UW-Madison), 1969

The Case Against the Army Math Research Center (UW-Madison), 1968–1969

The Economics of Racism, 1966

Gay Experiences-The Sisters Speak Out, 1970

Gay is Good, 1970

If you rape a woman and steal her TV, what can they get you for in New York? 1972

Living at war: a collection of contemporary responses to the draft, 1968

Message to All Progressive Forces-Black Panther Party, circa 1970

Notes from the third year: Women’s Liberation, 1971

On the ideology of the Black Panther Party Part 1, circa 1967–1969

The realities of lesbianism-Motive Magazine, 1969

Save the People!: Black Panther Party platform and program, 1968–1969

Sex roles and female oppression, undated

Toward a female liberation movement, 1967–1968

Violence and the masculine mystique, undated

The woman identified woman, undated

Women and the health system-Health Policy Advisory Center, 1972

Women’s abortion project after care information, 1971

Immediately when I saw the titles of these works I thought I had found a important, yet undiscovered person. Carmi Weingrod, seemed to me to be a radical, anti war, black power, woman and gay liberation activist.

She seemed like someone erased from History that said a lot and held a important role for the Historical left.

When I found out she was still alive I was even more ecstatic. I thought I was going to have a person to interview and talk about how many of the things she wrote on were still relevant today.

I sent her a email. After a few hours she quickly got back to me.

“Hi Zach,

I didn’t write any of the materials I donated to the UW archives! I collected them when I was a student in Madison from 1967–71. While cleaning out a closet last year I found and donated them to the library. There really wasn’t anything about LGBTQ issues. Most of the literature I collected was about the Vietnam war protest, the draft, the women’s movement, and black student rights.

Best of luck in your research.

To my shock, these weren’t her papers. She didn’t write a single one of them. The archives however, put them under her name as if she was the author of them. This led much confusion to my archive work and led to me creating this character in my head of what I thought Carmi Weingrod was.

Hear in my head I had this imagine of a strong black lesbian woman. Member of the Black Panther, lead organizer in the Anti-War demonstrations at UW Madison against Vietnam. Leader in the Women’s Liberation Front and Radical Feminist. Most shockingly to me a Queer, Lesbian Communist who tied Gay Oppression to Capitalism.

But this person did not actually exist. She was not this radical writer, she was a student who collected other peoples writings. That was all.

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