Society & Culture:Documentary
Centering Black Women in Black History
In this episode, Ramona centers African American women’s history in her discussion with historian Dr. Sonya Ramsey about her new book Bertha Maxwell-Roddey: A Modern-Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership. In her biography of Dr. Maxwell-Roddey, Dr. Ramsey modernizes the nineteenth-century term “race woman” to describe how educational activist and Black studies forerunner Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey and her peers turned hard-won civil rights and feminist milestones into tangible accomplishments in North Carolina and nationwide from the 1960s to the 1990s.
According to Dr. Ramsey, Dr. Maxwell-Roddey made a local and national impact through her leadership in multiple capacities: as one of Charlotte’s first Black women principals of a white elementary school; founding director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Africana Studies Department; co-founder of the Afro-American Cultural and Service Center, now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture; founder of the National Council for Black Studies; and the 20th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ramona and Dr. Ramsey’s discussion about Dr. Maxwell-Roddey highlights the importance of African American women in Black History. Dr. Sonya Ramsey is a Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies and the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is also author of several other historical works.
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