Meet author Meredith Ritchie at the next Live@Lanier

Published 4:39 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

With novelist Meredith Ritchie at the next Live@Lanier, Thursday, May 12, 11 a.m., enter an atmosphere charged with social upheaval, rationing, and, literally, with gunpowder.  

 

Backed with a career in business communications, Meredith Ritchie’s debut novel, “Poster Girls,” is a fictional account of two military wives working at the Shell Assembly Plant in Charlotte during WWII. A passion for literature forges an unlikely friendship between Maggie Slone and Kora Bell, a Black woman navigating the challenges of the Jim Crow era. Maggie and Kora work together to support their families and unify the workforce. 

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In 1942, in less than six months, the US Rubber Company and US Navy developed over 2,300 acres and 250 buildings for munitions manufacturing. One of every ten citizens of Charlotte worked at the plant. Few employment records exist for the 10,000 employees but estimates are that up to 90% were women with many women of color. Any could earn up to ten times the wages of domestic help. The pay equity in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 attracted Southern civilians to the urban workforce, triggering the phenomenal future growth of the city.

 

Told from two perspectives, “Poster Girls” reminds readers of forgotten events and accomplishments of diverse American women, still relevant to today’s race relations.

 

Thanks to program sponsors Brett Auston Flowers, The Bottle, and All Good Things Bakery.

 

Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio