Tenth Annual Women’s History Month Conference

Tenth Annual Women’s History Month Conference

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (20 minutes from midtown Manhattan)

Black Power, Black Feminism: Black Women’s Activism and Development of Womanist/Feminist Consciousness in the Era Black Power.

This Conference is FREE and open to the public.

Register at:http://www.slc.edu/womens-history/conference/index.php

Traditionally scholarship on the Black Power era has characterized this time of renewed cultural and political nationalism and activism as an almost exclusively male domain.

This has begun to change. Not only have scholars uncovered a long tradition of black women’s activism before and during the Black Power era, but they have begun reevaluating the entire era as a result. Part and parcel with this period of activism has been the development of a Black feminist consciousness. If scholars have seen the seeds of this consciousness far earlier, the sixties and seventies were notable for organizing that recognized inextricable and complicated ties between categories of race, class, and gender.

This conference seeks to sustain and enhance new scholarship that redefines the era, bringing the work and effort of women to the center.
Friday-Saturday March 7-8, 2008


Preliminary Schedule (subject to change)
Friday March 7, 2008
4:30-8:00pm: Registration in Heimbold Lobby
6:00-8:00pm – Heimbold 202

Opening Plenary
Welcome – Tara James, Associate Director, Graduate Program in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College

Keynote Address – Chana Kai Lee, Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the University of Georgia, and author of For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
8:00pm-9:00pm: Slonim House Living Room

Opening Reception, sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate
9:00pm-10:30pm: Slonim House Living Room
Poetry Readings, hosted by Maria James, Central Pennsylvania College
Saturday March 8, 2008
8:00-3:00pm: Registration in Heimbold Lobby
8:00-9:00am: Breakfast Reception in Heimbold Lobby
9:00-10:15am: Plenary Session in Heimbold 202

Opening Remarks: Lyde Sizer, Co-Director, Graduate Program in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College

Plenary Panel:

Warrior Womyn: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on black Power and Grassroots Feminism
Safiya Bandele – Medgar Evers College CUNY

Sisterhood is Local: Feminist Organizing in Brooklyn, NY from the 1970’s – Present
Mae Jackson – Caring for Change

Aging Political Activists: Where are Our Sisters?
Robyn Spencer – The Pennsylvania State University

In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Black Feminist Community Organizing in New York
10:30am-12:30pm: Breakout Session I

Panel: Movement Mamas “Transgressive and Transnational Traditions of Black Female Activism
Brittney Cooper – Emory University

Pauli Murray’s Black Female Braintrust: Towards a Hermeneutic of Elasticity in Black Power/Black Feminism Scholarship
Elizabeth Jones – Georgetown University Law Center

Activist Mothers: Diasporic Models of Female Leadership in the Black Power Movement
Brenda Tindal – Emory University

Beyond “Revolutionary Glamour”: A Critical Essay on Angela Davis as Cause Cèlébre of American Radicalism


Precursors and Legacies
Natanya K. Duncan -University of Florida

Women of the Universal Negro Improvement Association: A Way toward Understanding Black Nationalism in the 1920’s
Juandalynn Jones-Hunt and April Ruffin – University of NC-Greensboro

The ‘F’ Word of Feminist Scholarship: FACADE, What Feminist Theory Taught Us About the Harlem Renaissance
Ageenah A. Saleem -University of Cincinnati

Unsung Woes: A Brief Analysis of Contemporary Feminist Involvement in the Prison Industrial Complex

Black Women’s Body Politics: Health and Sexuality
Evan Hart -University of Cincinnati

“Guerrillas in the Midst”: The National Black Women’s Health Project
Yvonne, V. Wells -Suffolk University

How the Feminism of Michele Wallace Speaks to the Current Disintegration of Sexual Health in African American Women
White, John Gavin -New Jersey City University “What’s Weighing Our Our Black Superwomen Down?”: Exploring the Correspondence Between Deviant Womanhood and Weight


“Separate Yourself and Deal With One Issue At A Time”: The Intersection of Race and Class in Black Women’s Activism
Christy Garrison Harrison – Georgia State University.

“They Were Black Nationalists and They Didn’t Even Know It”: Ella Mae Brayboy; The First Black Deputy Voter Registrar in Atlanta, Georgia and Dorothy Bolden, founder of the National Domestic Worker’s Union
Premilla Nadasen -Queens College

Johnnie Tillmon: Black Visionary for Welfare
Rickie Solinger – Independent Scholar

The First Welfare Case: Challenging the Meaning of Marriage, the Meaning of Money and the Meanings of History after the Voting Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama

Love Sex and Power: The Impact of Religion and the Bible on Black Women’s Sexuality
Presenters: Lakeisha R. Harrison and Rev. Penny Willis – Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
12:30-1:15pm: Lunch Break

1:30-3:00pm: Breakout Session II
Film and Discussion:

“Hey. Shorty!” Film produced by Girls for Gender Equity’s Sisters in Strength program and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Mandy Van Deven -Community Organizing Coordinator Girls for Gender Equity, Inc.

Ashley Lewis -Director of film

Joanne Smith -GGE Executive Director

Emily May -Co-founder Hollaback NYC

“Our Prison Is This Whole Society”: The Power of Rhetoric in Black Power Activism
Angela D. Coleman – Sisterhood Agenda

The Black is Beautiful Movement
Christina Greene -University of Wisconsin “Power to the Ice Pick!”: Gender and Black Power Rhetoric in the Joan Little Sexual Assault-Murder Case
Heather Ostman – Westchester Community College

The Rhetoric of Womanhood in Angela Davis: An Autobiography

Roundtable Discussion:

For Assata: The Power of Intergenerational Black Feminist Practice
Ebony Golden -New York University

Nia (Nancy)Wilson -Spirit House

Alexis Pauline Gumbs – Duke University

“Why Can’t We Rightfully Claim Our Place in the World?”: Exploring Black Feminist Activism and Womanism
Rose Afriyie -National Organization for Women

Black Feminist Movement Building
Carol Giardina -Queens College Revolutionary Black Feminism
Sherie Randolph -University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Florynce Kennedy and the Creation of a Black Nationalist Multiracial Feminist Alliance
Jonathon Stone -Northern Kentucky University

The Women of the Black Panther Party
Panel: “I Am So Hip Even My Errors Are Correct!”: Women and the Black Arts Movement
Takiyah Nur Amin – Temple University

A Change is Gonna Come: First Steps in Examining the Contributions of African-American Female Choreographers to the Black Power/Black Arts Movement, 1960-1970
LaShonda Barnett – Sarah Lawrence College

“You Took My Teeth!”: Black Women & Black Power Musical Discourse
Nikki Skies -Performance Artist

Women in BlackArts Movement, Hip Hop & Slam: The Legacy, The Demise, The Repetition
3:15-5:00pm: Breakout Session III


The Few and The Furious: Black Panther Women and the Revolution

Mary Frances Phillips – Michigan State University Black Women’s Language Patterns in the Protest Writings of PantherWomen

Kenya C. Ramey – Temple University” Revolution Has No Gender”: The Women of the Black Panther Party
Brittney Yancy -University of Connecticut

“Sisters! Revolution Is Here!”: Women’s Leadership and The Black Power Movement

“If Justice is to Prevail, There Must be a Struggle”: Black Women’s Resistance and Self Defense
Phyllis Lynne Burns – Otterbein College

“Let’s Worry the Line”: Ending the Service of Black Women
Jacqueline Lynch -Benedict College

Ramona Africa: A Defiant Warrior
Shannen Dee Williams – Rutgers University

“Liberation is Our First Priority”: Black Nuns, Soul Politics, and the Modern African-American Freedom Struggle

“I Cannot Be Comprehended Except By My Permission”: African American Women’s Identitiesin the Era of Black Power
Maria D. Davidson -University of Oklahoma

Black Feminist Subjectivity: A Deleuzian Approach

Nzadi M. Keita -Poet-in-Residence/Visiting Assistant Professor, Ursinus College Ursinus College “Lucille Clifton and Sonia Sanchez: Naming and Renaming the Self
Nicole A. Watson -NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Black Art? Black Power?: Adrienne Kennedy’s theater and (re)presentations of African-American Identity
Panel: “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”: Black Women Activist as Icons
Joseph R. Fitzgerald – Gloucester County College

“Gloria Richardson: Midwife of Black Power”
Evelyn Simien -University of Connecticut Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender in the Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
Claudia Fatimah Smith – Cincinnati Union Bethel Early Childhood Education Department The Life and Times of Queen Mother Moore (1898-1996): Encounters with a Female Icon of the Black Power Movement
Linda Tomlinson -Clark Atlanta University

“The Fight is On”: Juanita Jewel Craft and the Dallas NAACP Youth Council
5:00-5:30pm: Reception, Heimbold Lobby
5:30 – 6:30pm: Closing Plenary
Play Reading:
“Living Sacrifice” Written by Rhone Fraser, WBAI, Co-producer of Tuesday Arts Magazine

Featuring Rhone Fraser and Tonya Edmonds
This documentary play is based on the collected speeches, writings, and interviews of Fannie Lou Hamer, and her autobiography, To Praise Our Bridges, as well as the two biographies, For Freedom’s Sake by Chana Kai Lee and This Little Light of Mine by Kay Mills. It traces in chronological order the scenes that most completely characterize her experience of struggle first as a Mississippi sharecropper and later as civil rights activist.

Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring the women’s history conference this year with Sarah Lawrence College. On March 5 and 6th, Brooklyn College will hold a pre-conference symposium on women in the Black Freedom Struggle. For more information about the symposium, contact Jean Theoharis at JTheoharis@brooklyn.cuny.edu. Below is the schedule:

Women in the Black Freedom Struggle Spring Symposium Series

The Brooklyn College Women in the Black Revolt mini-conference-
March 5-6, 2008
(co-sponsored with Sarah Lawrence College’s Black Power/Black Feminism women’s history conference on March 7-8)

Wednesday March 5: 4:30-6:00 Black Power/Black Feminism

Joy James (Williams College)

Sherie Randolph (Hofstra) James Smethhurst (U-Mass,Amherst)

Thursday March 6: 12:15-1:30 Women in the Black Panther Party

Angela LeBlanc-Ernest (independent scholar)

Ericka Huggins (former BPP member)

Robyn Spencer (Lehman)

Thursday March 6: 3:30-4:45 Women and Black Radicalism

Eric McDuffie (University of Illinois-Champagne)

Dayo Gore (U-Mass, Amherst)

Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence College)

Premilla Nadasen (Queens College)
The Graduate Program in Women History thanks the following co-sponsors:

Susan Guma and the Office of Graduate Studies

Mary Spellman and the Office of Student Affairs
The Graduate Student Senate

Tara Elise James
Associate Director
Women’s History Program


Join us for our 10th Annual Women’s History Conference on Friday and Saturday March 7&8,

The theme this year is: Black Power, Black Feminism: Black Women’s Activism and Development of Womanist/Feminist Consciousness in the Eraof Black Power. This conference is free and open to the public.

Register at:http://www.slc.edu/womens-history/conference/index.php


  1. Ama R. Saran says

    I’m so excited as one of those aging activists to see our work illuminated by new eyes and the critical analyses that go with it. I shall be there representing the National Black Women’s Health Project.
    In Sister-Strength,
    Ama R. Saran

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