Renowned scholar and author highlights Black women in history

By Aaliyah Patel

Beverly Guy-Sheftall, a renowned scholar, author and founder of the Women’s Research and Resource Center (WRRC), alongside women studies professor Anna Julia Cooper from Spelman College, presented a virtual talk through an event titled “Unbought and Unbossed: The Fight for Black Women’s Rights” on April 1 at 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Center of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), the event served to highlight the significance of Black women activists and discuss how their successes have been undermined within the nation’s history.

The talk through focused on Shirley Chisholm’s autobiography “Unbought and Unbossed.” Chisholm is remembered for her many firsts as an African American woman, such as being elected into Congress and seeking a presidential nomination from two major political parties in which she used to run for the presidency in 1972.

Her legacy was used to divert into the extensive conversations held throughout the evening.

Guy-Sheftall described how seeking equal representation is a lifelong journey, something that inspires her to continue to do this line of work.

“We have struggled for political representation, universal healthcare, nuclear disarmament, reproductive justice, welfare reform and the eradication of poverty,” Guy-Sheftall said. “Our resistance to a wide ray of injustices occurs within very different organizational contexts.”

The conversation also alluded to topics such as the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and the roles Black women have had throughout history.

Dana Walcott, a senior sociology and criminal justice major and president of the Black Student Union (BSU), expressed gratitude during her role in the facilitation of the event.

“I wanted to say thank you a million times for everything you have shared with us tonight. I know I learned a lot, so I know that everyone here can say that they learned so much and we’re about to learn even more with the resources you have given us,” Walcott stated.

There were resources given to students that promote effective forms of activism and allyship within communities.

Guy-Sheftall encourages young people to take responsibility in learning Black history as it helps develop a collective community.

“Most of what I know about Black women activist or Black feminist politics, I learned on my own by reading. So one of the things that I would say to young people in the audience is developing good reading habits is one of the best things you can do for your intellectual and political growth,” Guy-Sheftall said.

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