Ani DiFranco stopped in Berkeley as a guest of Berkeley Arts & Letters to speak about her new memoir, “No Walls and the Recurring Dream.”
She pulled out excerpts from the book, which covers her youth in Buffalo, New York, to the founding of her independent record label, Righteous Babe, up through the early 2000s where she found herself in NYC on 9/11.
She spoke about her uncertain times, with a key topic of the evening being women’s rights, as news broke about Alabama’s abortion ban that same evening.
While she may seem to have mellowed as she’s gotten older and become a mother, there is no less fight left in her, in fact, there is probably more than ever.
This is a fiercely independent woman who was mentored by Alan Lomax, Pete Seeger, Norah Guthrie and is friends with Bob Dylan.
Protest is in her blood and her voice—she was stark and forthcoming about her place in all of this. She didn’t claim to have all of the answers and even admitted that she too can feel the weight of the world weighing down, as so many others do these days.
An audience member asked what she does when she gets overwhelmed and loses hope. Her response, “I leave my house. I get in a ride-share or go to the airport and I make a friend. We share stories and I remember that this is the America I live in.”
Her answer was met with thunderous applause. Even without a guitar, she managed to connect with her audience and share a message of hope when her fans may need it most.